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

dschep profile image Daniel Schep ・2 min read

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!

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]

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))

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")

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],

🎉 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:


Editor guide
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 Author
  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