You’ve probably seen them all around Instagram: people are posting compilations of their “top nine” moments of the past year in a three-by-three grid. It’s sleek, it’s eye-catching, and it refreshes people’s memories of all the exciting content you published over the last several months. Putting nine of your favorite or most successful posts from 2018 together is an excellent way to look at the year in review and celebrate the coming of 2019. Instagram does not have its own feature that enables this collage, though—so here are a few ways to create and share your top nine moments.
Use an app
Apps are the primary way to compile your top nine images. You can do it yourself on your desktop, of course, but apps make the process much more manageable.
Top Nine: With Top Nine, you can link your Instagram account to the app, which provides you with information about your posts, including their total number of likes (the app’s website says that people have used it to create 6,453,639 collages as of the first week of January). The app then automatically extracts your most successful posts and compiles them into the famous grid and sends it to your email. It’s quick, it’s thorough, and it saves you the time of scrolling back through an entire year’s worth of content to determine which of your posts inspired the most engagement.
There is, however, a Top Nine watermark over your post, which you can remove for $1.99 (unless you decide the image looks better with it).
Best Nine: Best Nine is similar, but it allows you to select the photos you want to include in your collage. If you have nine moments you want to remind people of that may or may not have earned a ton of likes, feel free to include it in your top moments—you are the best judge, after all, of what you think your channel accomplished over the past year.
Best 9: Best 9 is another option for creating your collage—you give the app access to your Instagram account and use it to select your top moments.
It is worth noting, though, that of these options, Top Nine asks for your email address, but it does not ask for true access to your account information, so it’s the least invasive route if you are concerned about privacy. 9to5Mac recommends that you use the “Forget me” tool from Beta Labs to erase data associated with your account once you have used Top Nine.
What to do with your top nine
Wen posting your top nine, it’s up to you what you want to achieve with it. Maybe you can ask your followers which of your posts was their favorite in 2018, which made them smile, which made them sad, and what inspired them. One thing you can do it tag it with a relevant hashtag, such as #2018topnine. This way, you increase the likelihood of non-followers seeing your post and piquing their interest. Because top nines include nine repeated posts in one—and you have a perfectly reasonable excuse for doing it, as opposed to any other time during the year—your collage is an opportunity to showcase to Instagram what kind of content they should anticipate from you: a wide range of topics, including wildlife photography and infographics? Behind the scenes looks? How-to posts? If you want to showcase how exciting your content is, nine pieces offers a better taste than one.
Other ways to celebrate the new year
Besides sharing your top nine images, you can also review 2018 with an Instagram Story. When you post pictures on Stories that you have saved throughout the year, the platform automatically displays the date it was taken. If you don’t want to limit yourself to smaller images in a top nine compilation, Stories provide you with an opportunity to showcase full-size photos one at a time depicting moments you are proud of or events your followers may have forgotten about (and you can share videos and relevant links as well). You can also “highlight” each Story so that they save to your profile, and you can categorize these posts as “2018” so that they stay on your profile permanently.
Whether you are a brand or a personal user, compiling your top nine Instagram moments is an excellent way of reviewing your year and getting excited about what is to come in the next twelve months. What images will you include in your top nine grid or story?