Despite the uber-popular Instagram “Best 9” trend, the company doesn’t appear to be on the verge of releasing its own version of the third-party feature.
Instagram tells Inverse they have “no plans” to roll out a similar feature at the moment. It’s possible the website could still decide to do its own in-house version of Best 9, but if it is it will be a last-minute holiday surprise.
Despite a round of year-end releases for Instagram Stories and hashtags, the platform will leave the trend to third party Best Nine. The app searches a user’s Instagram handle to find their nine most liked posts of the year and place them in a fetching grid, ready for sharing.
Whatever the complexities of adding such a feature to Instagram, it would likely be no more difficult to pull off than, say, the recently released “Follow Hashtags” feature.
In the meantime, users can generate their own year-end Best Nine grids by going to 2017bestnine.com or downloading the iPhone app. Just type in your Instagram handle and the site searches a user’s Instagram handle to find their nine most liked posts of 2017 and place them in a fetching grid, ready for sharing.
As previously reported, the 2017 version of the Best Nine was redesigned to let you choose to display your photo grid vertically, making it easier to upload to Stories.
Best Nine creators Yusuke Matsumura and Mai Sekiguchi started the trend back in 2015 out as something completely different. Before accidentally starting the annual internet tradition, the co-founders started Japanese dating app Lip inc.
“During my stay, I was surprised to see that many people were ‘swiping faces’ on apps,” Matsumura told Buzzfeed in a 2016 interview. “At the time, this was somewhat of a rare thing to see in Japan. I quickly downloaded as many apps as I could and started swiping. At first, matching with someone was an exciting experience, but I soon learned that the thrill died when nobody actually started talking. Because really, what do we know about those people? Nothing.”
He then decided that Instagram could show more of a match’s life — and their most liked posts were the perfect things to hone in on.
“Nine is designed to make matches between people focusing more on their personality and inner beauty rather than appearance or status,” Matsumura said.
What began as a dating app soon became a viral sensation, which even celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian participated in.
Perhaps next year Instagram will fold the feature in.