Over the last two weeks a new app has popped up out of nowhere, and shot to the top of the App Store charts in the US and UK - dethroning Temu in the process, before being seemingly removed by Apple completely.
Driven by going viral TikTok, Wrapped for Instagram was an app developed by a third party ‘Wrapped Labs’ (i.e. not by Meta) and was marketed as giving Instagram users a Spotify Wrapped style experience. Users could supposedly see how many hours they had spent on Instagram in 2023, who their best friends were and even who had viewed their profile the most (i.e. who’s been stalking you on Instagram).
Over 100m had viewed the #InstagramWrapped on TikTok but many of the videos had users claiming it was a scam as the insights from Wrapped for Instagram changed every time users used it and given that users also had to put in their Instagram user name and password, there were very justifiable fears that their Instagram accounts were at risk of being hacked.
Users could even choose to subscribe to Wrapped Diamond which gave exclusive access to newly added analytics and more ‘in-depth data’ on their slides as well as a weekly summary of their data. Not only have Instagram users handed over their user name and password to Wrapped for Instagram but some may have also paid to have access to very dubious data.
Dethroning Temu in the App Stores is no mean feat - given it’s been at the top of the App Store for almost every day this year but it’s even more of an impressive feat to see an app with such a low rating be the most downloaded app - Wrapped for Instagram had a rating of 1.2 - which probably makes it the lowest ever rated app to have reached number one in the App Store!
After just over a week of increasing downloads and being at the top of the App Store, the party came to an end after Wrapped for Instagram disappeared from the App Store. Presumably Apple removed it due to the hacking fears and scam nature of the app and I would imagine pressure from Meta too.
The boom of Wrapped for Instagram raises many questions. One of the biggest being, how did Apple approve this app in the first place and what’s to stop this happening again? Anyone who downloaded Wrapped for Instagram who didn’t change their password soon after could have had their account hacked or their details already sold on the black market.
In what looks like a bait and switch approach from a new app in exchange for personal data, how will this scam evolve now Wrapped for Instagram has been shut down. Other nefarious apps may take inspiration but we also need to be aware that scams are out there and it’s important not to pour more fuel on the fire and increase the virality which only sees more people download it.