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Daniel Schep
Daniel Schep

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Creating an IG top 9 without using creepy 3rd party apps

It's that time of year again when everyone on Instagram is posting their #top9. I wanted one too, but I don't trust whatever app people are authenticating with their Instagram accounts because it shares more with a 3rd party than I care to do. (TL;DR: use the script in this gist)

Fortunately, a quick googling led me to the igramscraper python library

Then the first step was using it's get_medias function:

posts = instagram.get_medias("_schep", 50) # use your account of course!
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Next, we need to filter to only this year's photos and sort by likes and grab the top 9. For this we use the standard library datetime module, a list comprehension, sorted and a slice to limit the result to 9.

this_year_photos = [
    for post in posts
    if datetime.fromtimestamp(post.created_time).year == 2019
    and post.type == post.TYPE_IMAGE

top9 = sorted(this_year_photos, key=lambda post: -post.likes_count)[:9]
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Now we have a list of your top 9 most liked photos of 2019! Next we need to download them and create your top9 image. For this we use the popular requests and Pillow libraries:

img ="RGB", (1080, 1080)) # create the new image
for post in top9:
    # download and open the image
    tile =, stream=True).raw)
    # resize the image
    tile = tile.resize((360, 360), Image.ANTIALIAS)
    # paste it into our new image
    img.paste(tile, (i % 3 * 360, i // 3 * 360))
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The call to img.paste is a little bit obtuse. I'm using the modulo(%) operator to determine what column the image is on then multiplying by the size of the image and using the floor division(//) operator to determine the row.

Then we save it!"my-top9.jpg")
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If you have non-square images in your top 9, you might notice that they are deformed. To deal with this, we crop our tile before resizing it:

if tile.size[0] > tile.size[1]:
    tile = tile.crop(
            (tile.size[0] - tile.size[1]) / 2,
            (tile.size[0] - tile.size[1]) / 2 + tile.size[1],
elif tile.size[0] < tile.size[1]:
    tile = tile.crop(
            (tile.size[1] - tile.size[0]) / 2,
            (tile.size[1] - tile.size[0]) / 2 + tile.size[0],
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🎉 We've just created our own top9 image with out having to authenticate our account with a creep 3rd party IG app!

Check out the full source code for an easy to use version of this script in this Gist:

Top comments (2)

theague profile image
Kody James Ague

Can you explain how to use this as if I'm 5 years old?

dschep profile image
Daniel Schep • Edited
  1. Make sure you have python3
  2. python3 -m venv top9-venv
  3. . ./top9-venv/bin/activate
  4. pip install click Pillow igramscraper
  5. wget
  6. python