Privacy-conscious folks will be happy to know Telegram no longer requires a SIM card to sign up.
While the app only made phone numbers visible if users chose to do so, the privacy option might not have been enough for people to share their phone numbers to access an account.
But a new update allows for no-SIM signup, auto-delete chats, and many other changes.
The SIM-free option uses anonymous numbers on the Fragment platform. Unfortunately, users need to pay for an anonymous number, which can be used to register for the service.
Telegram is also letting users auto-delete future messages. While the company first introduced self-destructing messages in 2013, it only applied to messages already sent or received. The update allows users to set a “global auto-delete timer,” which will automatically apply to new chats. While it won’t impact existing chats, users can change this in their settings.
“Telegram’s unique combination of removing messages for all participants without a trace and controlling existing and future chats with auto-delete timers gives you full ownership of your entire message history. Together with using your account without a SIM card, it delivers ultimate privacy,” Telegram states in a blog post.
The update also allows account holders who hide their phone numbers to generate temporary QR codes. Doing so allows users to quickly connect with others without sharing their phone numbers.