Create a Year of Colour account, and then securely authorise us to read your Instagram images.
The Year of Colour robot scrolls back through your timeline to find all the images from the year and temporarily downloads them.
The robot scans each image and uses some clever algorithms to extract the most prominent colours.
You get a beautiful colour report combining all the colours into one visualisation. Larger circles = more of that colour in your images. Nice!
It’s made by me, Stef 👋 (@stef on Instagram and Twitter) a designer and software developer based in London, UK. I do this as a personal art project, so thank you for your patience if anything doesn't quite work perfectly! Thanks for being part of Year of Colour.
So far around a million people have had a Year of Colour report, and that number grows each year. I find it so pleasing that so many folks have enjoyed the Year of Colour tool and I'm constantly working on improving it so that it reaches more people, and offers more features along the way.
First, you sign in with a social account (or make an email/password account). This is to abide by Facebook/Instagram's terms of service and in future will mean you can get reports for multiple instagram accounts. I use Google's Firebase Authentication service for the login system, which means that I have no way to see your passwords on these services, or do anything but see your profile ID / email. With this, when you sign in again you can see your reports, and if a report takes a long time then you will receive an email once it is complete.
Then, you connect an Instagram account. Again, this is to abide by Instagram's terms of service and ensure your privacy preferences are maintained. Year of Colour never sees or stores your Instagram password.
Connecting your account like this gives the program behind Year of Colour approval for 60 days to access the posts in your timeline. It can't see your stories, messages or other content. Just the images you post in your main timeline. After 60 days, if you don't use Year of Colour again, this access expires automatically.
I know, signing in twice feels a bit strange! But it was the only way that the service would be approved by Facebook/Instagram's new rules.
Every year a percentage of reports just don't generate, or something goes wrong. I've done my best to make sure that this doesn't happen, but errors occur. So I ask for your email so that you will be notified once your report is complete. I'll also email you next year to remind you to have your colours done again.
Then, you can request a report, either for the whole of last year, last month or a particular date. If it's your first visit, it automatically makes a report for the last full year for you.
I've written some software that then goes off and looks through your images. For each image in the time period you want Year of Colour to look at, we run it through a script that shows us the "dominant" colours it contains. The top sixteen for each one.
Then we apply "quantization" in the form of an algorithm that groups up the colours into buckets that are very similar, and counts how many pixels each bucket contains from all your images. The more pixels, the more you've used that colour!
After that, we display it all in a fun circular bubbly way according to your preferences - play with those sliders!
You can save your image to your camera roll and post it on Instagram. If you really like it, check out our downloads and other options!
I've been amazed about the response to the Year of Colour so far! I'm pleased you're enjoying it.
If you need some help, please bear in mind I've had hundreds of thousands of people do this, and whilst I want to help you, it's just one person on the end of an email address. And over the holiday period I'm mainly spending time with my family.
If you'd like to contact us about something other than a support issue, please email [email protected]
I wouldn't be able to offer this service without the free, open source efforts of some talented and generous folk. Thank you!
D3.js and the circle-packing algorithm: Mike Bostock
And these open source tools: React, NextJs, Tailwind, Svgsaver. Cheers folks!
If you'd like to know about how the service keeps your data private, check out the page about privacy.