Here's How to Get Your Instagram Top 9

Post your nine most-popular images from Instagram is a hallowed year-end tradition. Here's how you can do it, too.

Instagram top 9 2021
Photo by Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

Let's skip the euphemisms and just say it's been a year. Another one. You deserve to spend the last days of the year remembering the good parts of 2021 for you, whatever they may be. Maybe it's that time you impulse-bought the Bernie Sanders mittens. (Yes, that happened in 2021.) Or when you made that great joke about Ever Given during a Clubhouse chat. 

Instead of rewatching Godzilla vs. Kong or flipping through the best photos from the Perseverance rover, you could also grab your Instagram Top Nine. That's become a hallowed year-end tradition at this point. You get that little square image of the little square images people who like your little square images liked the most. You can do it again this year. 

However, unlike Spotify Wrapped or your Goodreads moments, you can't get the best of your 'grams right in the Instagram app. You'll need to use a separate app to get the image and then jump back into Instagram to share it. It's not convenient, but we can help you make it easy with apps like Best Nine and Top Nine.

What Is Instagram Best Nine/Top Nine?

This isn't likely to surprise you. They're apps. Both of them collect the nine Instagram posts (not stories) that got the most likes in your account and turn them into a three-by-three grid you can share on Instagram. Alternatively, you can just file it away in the recesses of your laptop and never look at it again. You don't have to share it.

There are other ways to get the shareable pictogram, but these are two of the best-known apps that will make the image for you.

How to Get Your Instagram Best Nine

These procedures always change just a bit from year to year. Both services remain free. However, while Best Nine can still be accessed from the web on your computer, Top Nine now requires you to use its Top Nine or Creator Kit app to get your image. 

The process can be a bit slow at times. Especially when the trend is at its peak, the services are churning hard to get through it all and it can take a bit.

Here's a step-by-step guide to ways you can grab your most-liked Instagram pics of the year.

Get your best of Instagram on a desktop:
Best Nine's website does not require you to log in or provide an email address. Though, it does run slower than Top Nine. On the homepage, you enter your Instagram handle. Then you're waiting. The next screen will tell you how long it's going to take to get your image. When I did it, my wait time was listed as 10 minutes. It took about 30 minutes in the end. In 2019 and 2020, it also said it would take 10 minutes and took more than an hour both times. 

Get your best of Instagram on iPhone:
If you're using the Top Nine app, it'll ask you for your Instagram handle/username. On the next page, the app will ask for your email address. You can enter it if you want, but you actually don't have to. There's an option to just carry on with your Instagram-adjacent business. Your Instagram Top Nine will come together on the next page. Again, patience. It could take a little bit. That image will tell you the total number of likes you had in 2020 as well as revealing the nine images that got the most likes. If you do enter your email, though, you'll get a notice in your inbox when it's ready.

Get your best of Instagram on Android:
If you want an app that will work on Android, Best Nine 2021 in the Google Play store will do the trick. This year, this was the app that pulled my top nine the fastest. In addition to providing your most-liked images of 2021, this app will give you a "top nine" style image for your most-liked images of 2020, of all-time, or you can set a custom date range. 

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.