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Instagram's Playback feature retells the story of your 2021

It's not a baked-in top nine feature, but you can share up to 10 Stories that sum up your year.

A series of screenshots highlighting Instagram's Playback feature, which allows users to select and share up to 10 stories that sum up their year.
Kris Holt
Kris Holt|@krisholt|December 9, 2021 12:00 PM

This has been another rough year for many of us, but there have perhaps been more high points than in 2020, with families and friends reuniting and vacations becoming a bit more viable. To give you another way to reflect upon 2021, Instagram is rolling out a feature called Playback.

Starting today, the app will create a Playback using up to ten of your Stories. You'll be able to remove some of the Stories and add your own through the Stories archive. A message will appear on the feed that asks if you'd like to create or modify your Playback. Instagram says that if you see a Story with a 2021 sticker, you can tap on it to see and share your own Playback. The feature will only be available for a few weeks, so folks can "celebrate and reflect on 2021 ahead of the New Year," according to Instagram.

Over the last few years, many Instagram users have been using third-party apps to create a collage of their top nine most-liked posts of the year, which they can share in the main feed or Stories. Given how popular the top nice grid is each year, it would have been nice to see Instagram offer that feature in its own app. It seems Playback will have to suffice for now.

Instagram's Playback feature retells the story of your 2021