Can You Make An Instagram Best Nine For 2016? The Photo Collage App Is Back For A Second Year

If you're a fan of wrapping up the year by reflecting back on all the awesome things you experienced, collages of photos and memories can be really fun. Last year, the "Instagram Best Nine" trend gave us a high tech way of doing this — so can you make an Instagram Best Nine for 2016? Or was that miraculous aggregator that showed you your nine most popular Instagram posts a 2015-only sensation? Good news: Instagram Best Nine is back for 2016, too, so at least we'll have one good thing to come out of this admittedly trying year.

The Instagram Best Nine debuted in December of 2015, and the social media world understandably went wild for it immediately. We later found out that it was a marketing campaign for a dating app called Nine; however, that didn't diminish our love for it. Even if it's a gimmick, it's still fun.

This year, it's as fun as ever — and also as easy as ever. To make your own Best Nine, you simply go to the 2016 Best Nine website (or link through to it from the 2015 Best Nine website — they've helpfully added a path from the original site to the new one) and enter your Instagram username. Then, the website pulls your nine "best" photos and compiles them into one collage (for free!). It's important to note that the app isn't analyzing the quality of your photos; it's just going based on the nine photos with the most "likes" you've received. But, hey, likes are likes, right?

On the Best Nine website, your screen will look like this:

After you type in your username, click "GET!" to be brought to the next page. If you've done it right, this should show you a collage of your nine most liked Instagram shots from 2016... but there's a catch.

My Instagram account is actually private — meaning that you have to "follow" my account and get permission from me to see my posts. Because of this, it appears the Best Nine app can't compile photos from my account. Instead, I received this message:

While perhaps slightly disappointing, this does make a lot of sense: Best Nine is compiling data (number of "likes") when it's available, but it can't do that from an account that doesn't actually make that data available publicly. As Madison Marlone Kircher explains over at NY Mag, you can actually search the data on any Instagram account that is publicly available — so for example, if your favorite celebrity has a public Instagram account, you can simply type in their username and see their most popular posts compiled into one collage. It's kind of nice from a security standpoint to know that if your account is private, no one else can compile your Best Nine.

In addition, you can actually choose whether to have your "likes" reflected in the Instagram Best Nine collage or not. You'll see a lot of people re-share these on other social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, so it's nice that if you aren't a huge Instagram user or don't have a lot of followers, your photos won't look measly if they average only a few likes per post. We can't all be Instagram celebrities, right?

If you make a 2016 Best Nine collage and want to share it, know that the hashtag #2016bestnine seems to be the most popular right now, but keep your eye out for more! You never know where social media will take us.

Images: Unsplash/Pexels; Marissa Higgins/Bustle (2)