Signal Users Will Start Using Usernames to Keep Their Phone Numbers Private

Signal usernames are not logins or handles that you’ll be known by on the app – they’re simply a quick way to connect without sharing a phone number. IMAGE: Signal Signal usernames are not logins or handles that you’ll be known by on the app – they’re simply a quick way to connect without sharing a phone number. IMAGE: Signal
<center>Signal usernames are not logins or handles that you’ll be known by on the app – they’re simply a quick way to connect without sharing a phone number. IMAGE: Signal</center>

Instant messaging app, Signal is soon rolling out support for usernames. The company announced on Tuesday in a blog post. The feature which is currently in beta, will be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks.

According to the blog post, in case you prefer to chat without sharing your phone number, you will now be able to create a unique username that you can use instead. The company however notes that you will still need a phone number to sign up for Signal.

“Note that a username is not the profile name that’s displayed in chats, it’s not a permanent handle, and not visible to the people you are chatting with in Signal. A username is simply a way to initiate contact on Signal without sharing your phone number.” wrote Randall Sarafa, the chief product officer at Signal.

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Once the feature rolls out, by default, your phone number will no longer be visible to everyone you chat with. However, users who already had your number saved in their contacts will still be able to see it. Signal further says that users will also be able to control who can find them on the app by phone number by enabling a new, optional privacy setting.

“This means that unless people have your exact unique username, they won’t be able to start a conversation, or even know that you have a Signal account — even if they have your phone number.”

The encrypted messaging app emphasizes that “Signal usernames are not logins or handles that you’ll be known by on the app – they’re simply a quick way to connect without sharing a phone number.” Your profile name will still be whatever you set it to and your username will not be displayed on your Profile details page or chats if you don’t personally share it.

To create one, you can head to your profile settings. But keep in mind that your username is supposed to be unique with two or more numbers at the end. The company says this is intended “to help keep usernames egalitarian and minimize spoofing.” Signal usernames can be changed or deleted if the user decides they no longer want to have one.

Meanwhile, we previously reported about a similar feature coming to Meta’s messaging platform, WhatsApp, which the company is currently refining. The feature which is also still under development will make it easier for you to chat with other people without sharing your phone number.
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