Signal rolls out usernames that let you hide your phone number


End-to-end encrypted messaging app Signal finally allows users to pick custom usernames to connect with others while protecting their phone number privacy.

This is part of a beta rollout that follows a public test phase in a staging environment separate from the stable Signal messaging service announced in November.

“We’re launching these updates to our beta users now, and will be turning them on for everyone running the latest version of the Signal app soon,” Signa said.

“Our goal is to listen to your feedback, make adjustments, and ensure phone number privacy on Signal is easy and useful for everyone.”

After installing the client beta version on their computer or mobile device, users can create a username that can be used to contact them in Settings > Profile (while you can set your own custom username, all usernames will have two numbers at the end).

Because Apple caps the total number of iOS beta testers, Signal has already reached that limit for this beta test phase, but you can get around this by signing up for the macOS Desktop beta (linked to your iOS account) if you’re an iOS Signal user.

Once you’ve set up your new username, you no longer have to disclose your phone number, and you will also be able to share a unique link or QR code with people you want to start a quick chat with.

Signal usernames in chat
Signal usernames in chats (Signal)

Usernames are not displayed on your Signal profile, and they can be changed as often as needed or even removed altogether if you no longer want to use one.

While contacts with your number saved will still be able to see it, your number won’t be visible to anyone else if you don’t want to share it.

​You can also enable a new, optional privacy setting, requiring those who want to connect with you on Signal to use the username instead of your phone number.

“Your phone number will no longer be visible to anyone on the latest version of Signal unless they have it saved in their phone’s contacts. You can change this in Settings,” Signal explains in the iOS beta app’s changelog.

“You can now set and share an optional username to let people chat with you without giving them your phone number. A new privacy setting lets you control who can find you by your phone number on Signal.”

Signal President Meredith Whittaker first mentioned in November 2022 that Signal was working on rolling out username support that would allow using the encrypted messaging service without having to disclose phone numbers linked to accounts.

“We are working on usernames, which will allow people to communicate with each other without ever sharing their phone number. You will still need a phone number for registration, but you can choose to share it with no one,” Whittaker added in August 2023.

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