Each December, between the photos of adorably misshapen snowmen and glittery holiday attire, social media is flooded with end-of-year retrospectives. How are we supposed to remember what happened in the past year without a bunch of artful photo collages to remind us? Naturally, this means you'll want to know how to make your own Instagram best nine for 2017. Even though 2017 could charitably be described as a flaming garbage dumpster of a year for many (most?) people, these photo grids are quickly becoming an annual tradition as important as New Year's champagne. Grab your phone, folks, because it's time to create a visual representation of your coolest, most popular moments from the last 12 months. No pressure or anything, right?
As it turns out, the collages were actually an elaborate marketing scheme to get you interested in an Instagram-based dating app, Nine, which launched in February 2016. The idea is to showcase your personality with your most popular photos rather than creating your own profile. (Given Instagram's reputation for shiny, perfect facades, that may or may not have worked out as anticipated.) But regardless of the success of the dating app's launch, the #BestNine has quickly become a staple of the holiday season.
With the holidays in full swing, it's back again — and just as easy as ever. The only noteworthy difference is a small redesign allowing the grid to display vertically. (The better to post to your Instagram Story.) Without further ado, here's your step-by-step guide to creating your own best nine collage.