How To Add a Contact by Username in Telegram
Privacy is usually the number one concern for anyone using any social media website or app. How do we protect our personal information? This is particularly important for messaging apps such as Viber or WhatsApp, where you need to reveal your phone number, sometimes to total strangers.
Telegram found a way to address this concern by allowing users to add contacts by their username, without knowing their phone number. If this sounds like something you appreciate in an app, read on to learn more.
Adding a Contact Without the Phone Number
Finding people in the Telegram app without adding their phone number is pretty easy. If you know (or you think you can guess) someone’s username, do the following:
- Open Telegram and tap the hamburger menu in the top left corner.
- Select Contacts from this menu.
- Tap the magnifying glass at the top of the screen and start entering a username.
- It’s enough to type five characters for search results to show in the Global search section. Type in the whole name to filter the results better.
- Scroll down until you find the desired person.
- When you tap on their profile picture or their name, you can instantly message them or tap on the three-dot icon in the top right corner and then share your phone number with them. A pop-up window will ask you to confirm this.
- When you tap on the person’s name at the top of the screen, tap on the three-dot icon in the top right corner and tap Add to contacts.
Note that you’ll be able to see the new contact’s phone number as soon as they accept your invitation. Also, you can skip sharing your contact with them before adding them as a new contact.
When you add a person like this, before you’re officially connected, you can also see their username, bio, your shared content, such as groups you’re both in, and you have the option of sharing a secret chat with them.
If you’re a member of a group chat along with people you don’t have in your contacts, you have another way of adding new contacts without asking for their number. Here’s how.
- Open the Telegram app on your phone.
- Tap to open the group where the desired contact is.
- Tap on the group name to show group members.
- Tap on the profile picture of the contact.
- As their profile appears on your screen, tap on the three-dot icon in the top right corner.
- Choose Add to contacts from the menu.
- Change their name as you’d like it to appear in your contacts list or leave it as it is and tap on Done.
What If I Don’t Want to Share My Number?
Even though Telegram provided a useful security measure by not allowing others to see your phone number, you can’t use the app without entering it at some point.
When creating an account, you need to give the app your number so you can be sent a code that activates it via SMS. However, people who aren’t your friends or family won’t be able to see your contact unless you willingly give them your number. The other way they can access your phone number is if you add them to your contact list. This means the power is in your hands, either way.
Private chats also allow you to hide your phone number. To adjust these settings, follow these steps:
- Launch your Telegram app.
- Tap on the hamburger icon to view the menu on the left side of your screen.
- Select Settings.
- Go to Privacy and Security.
- Tap on Phone Number and choose who can see it: Everybody, My Contacts, or Nobody.
Note that here you can also add exceptions to this rule by adding particular users on Always Allow or Never Allow lists. A whole group can be an exception.
Playing Hide & Seek
Now you see me, now you don’t. Before hiding your phone number, bear in mind that there’s nothing you can do if another person has already saved your contact in their phone.
Today, it’s almost too easy to learn someone’s phone number. But with Telegram, you don’t need to waste your time investigating – knowing someone’s name is sometimes enough.
Do you add people to your contacts list by their username? Have you set a username for yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!