Signal, the popular encrypted messaging app, is now testing usernames that will allow users to keep their phone numbers private.

“Think of The Staging Environment as a parallel Signal universe: you’ll need to install and run a new build, and register for a new account with a phone number (you can use the same one you’re using in Production),” O’Leary said.

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“Anybody you wish to talk with in Staging needs to be registered in Staging as well. We have no uptime guarantees in Staging, and it’s likely that push notifications won’t work as well, or potentially at all, during your testing.”

After registering for a staging account and launching the app, users can access the new features within these builds by navigating to Settings > Profile and Settings > Privacy > Phone Number.

The new username feature is currently in beta testing and is only available to a limited number of users. However, Signal is planning to roll it out to all users in the near future.

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