Sign is publicly testing letting customers add usernames to their accounts in order that they don’t need to share their cellphone quantity to attach by way of the encrypted messaging service. The take a look at was introduced by way of a post on the Signal forums by VP of engineering Jim O’Leary, who referred to the function as “pre-beta” and warned that there’ll be tough edges together with crashes and damaged push notifications. An official launch is planned for early 2024, Sign president Meredith Whittaker just lately introduced.
Assist for usernames is critical for the messaging service, which markets itself as a non-public and safe method to talk. Though accounts will nonetheless be related to a standard cell quantity at setup, the username function means you’ll be capable to join with and message different customers with out having to share what may be an necessary personally identifiable piece of data.
A screenshot of the function posted on X says Sign customers will be capable to share their usernames utilizing a novel QR code or hyperlink. As soon as a username is ready up, the screenshot suggests you’ll be capable to set it as the first approach by which you’ll be able to be contacted on Sign, and might stop a cellphone quantity from being shared by way of your profile.
If you wish to give the pre-beta function a attempt, O’Leary’s put up notes that it’s accessible for take a look at throughout Android, Desktop, and iOS. However the ease of putting in these take a look at purchasers varies, and also you’ll solely be capable to speak to different customers operating comparable pre-release software program. In different phrases; that is take a look at software program meant primarily for testing, not every day chatting.