You should probably stay away from the Instagram Wrapped app

Rendering of the Wrapped for Instagram app on iPhone.
Digital Trends

I’ll keep it simple. Stay away from the Wrapped for Instagram trend. The app has been floating around the top of the App Store rankings for the past few days, and its premise is a little too profitable to ignore.

You may see your friends online showing off their Wrapped stats, but before you go and join in the “fun” for yourself, please consider the following first.

What is the Wrapped app for Instagram?

Title artwork for the Wrapped for Instagram app.
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

Like Spotify’s “wrapped” system that offers insight into your music streaming habits throughout the year, the new Wrapped app offers a look at your Instagram usage trends.

It tells you the number of hours you spent on Instagram in 2023, your top online friends, the number of people who blocked you, and more. In real life, those statistics aren’t very accurate, and there’s no explanation at all about how the app makes those calculations.

Now, before you go ahead and install it, you might want to pay attention to my own experience and how the app works. I installed the app last night and gave it access to my Instagram account. I woke up today and saw that I had logged out of that account on my iPhone.

A healthy group of users have also expressed concerns on Reddit and other social platforms where these apps collect login credentials to steal data and hack accounts. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Wrapped works, but it’s a bad liar

Story statistics in the Wrapped for Instagram app.
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

When you launch the Wrapped app for the first time, you are asked to connect your Instagram account by entering your login credentials. Once authenticated, it shows you some interesting account statistics, as shown below.

The list of three accounts the app curated as “Your best friends of 2023” has my sister’s account at the top. But here’s the fun part. We rarely exchange a meme or two in the DM section in a month. I don’t even look at her Instagram Stories. In third place were former colleagues who only shared one or two posts per week, but I never interacted with their stories.

In second place is a friend who I interact with every day, and much more than anyone else in my mutual circle. Then the app told me that I spent more than 660 hours on Instagram last year. The screen time settings on my phone tell me that my weekly time spent on Instagram is less than two hours.

I also know that I don’t actually spend more than two (or a maximum of three) hours per week on Instagram. That means my Instagram hours in 2023 shouldn’t exceed 200 hours, even by the most generous estimate. The Wrapped app for Instagram falls short of estimates with a margin of error of at least 200% here. And I’m not the only one who noticed the obvious inaccuracies.

The app also gives you a list of the three accounts that viewed my profile, how many accounts screenshotted my posts, and the number of users who blocked me. The app claims to offer more detailed insights but hides it behind a paid Diamond subscription. Digital Trends has reached out to the developer’s account on Instagram for more information and will update this post when we hear back.

Is the Instagram Wrapped app a scam?

Wrapped for the Instagram developer website.
Current status of the developer’s website. Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

Talking about the developer, Wrapped Labs doesn’t seem to have an online presence. The developer’s website listed in the App Store leads to a non-working web URL. Another suspicious element here is that instead of a dedicated website for the developer’s app or business, all we have is a link to Ideas page document the application’s privacy policy.

But there are some red flags here too. “For a better experience, while using our Services, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information,” the disclosure reads. This statement is worrying because handing over such personal data to third-party applications is a bad idea.

It’s also worth noting that the developer account on Instagram I sent a DM to last night is no longer visible today. The app’s home page states that all analysis occurs on the device and the development team doesn’t get access to your login information, but history tells a different story with several fraudulent apps that have appeared in the past with similar promises.

If that’s not enough evidence to steer you away from the Wrapped app, Digital Trends received this comment from a Meta spokesperson when asked about the app:

“This app violates our terms and we have asked Apple to remove it from the App Store.”

Nothing could be clearer than that.

Why you should stay away from Wrapped

Look, it’s not a good idea to connect third-party apps to your social media accounts. And if the app is anything like Instagram — where you post a lot of personal content — you should proceed with extreme caution. Here are some concerns regarding applications on social media:

You may ask why Spotify Wrapped is safe, but Wrapped for Instagram is not. First of all, Spotify Wrapped is an internal tool, meaning your music streaming data is only accessed by tools created by Spotify and run on the company’s own servers. In the case of Wrapped for Instagram, it’s an external app from a developer we’ve never heard of.

Second, Spotify Wrapped is accurate, but this suspicious app linked to Instagram is completely inaccurate. Plus, we live in the era of generative AI, and it’s very easy to take content from an Instagram profile and change it. Cases like this have already occurred in the US, as explained in this report by Washington Post.

Everything about the Wrapped for Instagram app looks suspicious and is a red flag. I highly recommend that you avoid useless Instagram usage statistics in order to keep your social media accounts intact and your privacy from being violated. And considering what Meta told us, it’s likely only a matter of time before Wrapped from Instagram is booted from the App Store for good.

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