It’s New Year’s Eve, which means that your Instagram feed – if it’s something like mine – is probably filled with people posting “top nine” grids of their most liked photos from this year. But amazingly, in another year, everyone will turn to sketchy-looking third-party apps and websites to create them. Once again, Instagram has failed to offer an official, automated way to curate the photos in the app.
As someone who personally likes to use the top nine format to look back on a year of baked good photos, I am completely confused by this. Users seem to love put together the collages to look back on the last year of posts. Instagram even offered grid tools to post photos to your story in different layouts. And that certainly have access to the data.
Just look at the popularity of Spotify̵
In addition, Instagram is owned by Facebook, the company that pioneered automated annual videos. Facebook uses the power of algorithms to gather instant (albeit sometimes depressing) annual videos and “friends day” highlights. Allowing users to automatically create and share top nine posts seems like a no-brainer. But 2020 rolls by without even the toughest nod to the idea.
Instead, users are left with third-party services, dozens of which skyrocket up the App Store lists every year. These services often ask users to discard personal information such as their email addresses or insist on refining images with ugly watermarks or logos.
It’s easy to imagine how Instagram could streamline this process and even fix some of the pain points in most third-party options, such as the inability to generate the top nine networks for private accounts.
And yet it looks like 2020 will end with Instagram dropping the ball on this seemingly obvious feature. I guess it’s always 2021.