Instagram is getting in on the year-in-review trend with Playback, a feature that will let you relive your Stories from 2021. Instagram will share a curated Playback of 10 Stories for each user, but anyone can edit, add, or remove Stories from their Playback list via their Stories archive, which will pop up within Playback.
Users will see a message in their Instagram feed inviting them to create a Playback, and if they see a 2021 Story they want to add, users can click on the “2021” sticker to view and share in their Playback.
While Playback is likely to be popular, especially with power Instagram users who want to re-promote their favorite Stories, it’s a bit puzzling that Instagram hasn’t embraced a simpler end-of-year feature that’s been popular in the past: the “top nine” photo grid.
Third-party apps have offered variations of the top nine end-of-year photo grid to Instagram users for several years, but often at the cost of personal info like email addresses. Instagram has built-in tools to let users create photo grids, but so far hasn’t offered a year-in-review version. Even Facebook, part of the same parent company as Instagram, offers an automated look-back video (whether users want one or not).
Playback rolls out Thursday to all Instagram users as a limited feature available for the next few weeks, the company said.