Signal Introduces Usernames and Phone Number Privacy

"We’re making it possible for people to connect with each other without having to share phone numbers. Now launching to beta users, available for everyone soon," announced Signal.

Signal Introduces Usernames and Phone Number Privacy
  • "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. Our goal is to listen to your feedback, make adjustments, and ensure phone number privacy on Signal is easy and useful for everyone."
  • "Note that even once these features reach everyone, both you and the people you are chatting with on Signal will need to be using the most updated version of the app to take advantage of them," was stated in a blog post.

What's new

  • New default: Your phone number will no longer be visible to everyone in Signal. "People who have your number saved in their phone’s contacts will still see your phone number since they already know it."
  • Connect without sharing your phone number. "You can now create a unique username that you can use instead (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."
Two phones next to each other displaying the QR code and custom URLs to connect on Signal without sharing a phone number.
  • Control who can find you on Signal by phone number. "If you don’t want people to be able to find you by searching for your phone number on Signal, you can now enable a new, optional privacy setting."

Blog Post / Archive
GitHub Repo