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You can now sign up for Telegram without a SIM card

Telegram version 9.2 comes with auto-delete conversations, Aggressive Anti-Spam mode, and more

Like WhatsApp, Telegram requires a phone number to sign up for the service, with your account tied to it. Privacy-conscious folks might not be comfortable with this, even though the best communication app for Android lets you hide your number from other users. Telegram is changing this with the latest release of its app by allowing you to create an account without a SIM card.

You can now sign up for a new Telegram account using blockchain-powered numbers from the Fragment platform. You will need to pay to acquire the anonymous number, which can only be used to register for the messaging service. However, if you truly value your privacy and don’t want your Telegram account linked to your real mobile number, this would be a small price to pay.

You can create a temporary QR code to share your profile. Anyone who scans the code can add you to their contact list on the messaging service without knowing your phone number.

The ability to auto-delete conversations is another new feature in Telegram v9.2. The platform has supported self-destructing messages since 2013, but there was no way to clear all your existing chats at regular intervals. With the new Auto-Delete option, you can set up a self-destruct timer and select the chats to auto-delete after the specified interval.

Telegram v9.2 expands Topics to groups with 100+ members, up from the previous limit of 200 members. Topics allow admins to set aside a portion of the group for a common subject that members are interested in. For example, a school group in Telegram can have a gaming topic where all the game-related conversations can happen. This will help keep group chats with hundreds of members better organized. By default, Telegram will create groups with a default ‘General’ topic that’s accessible by all group members. Admins can rename or hide the topic if they wish to, with each group having up to five pinned topics.

Telegram is introducing a new Aggressive Anti-Spam mode for groups with over 200 members to fight spam better. This feature automatically enables automated spam filters to keep spam messages in check.

Android users are getting some more goodies in Telegram 9.2. The Storage Usage page has been redesigned to display how much space each conversation takes on your device. There’s also the option of clearing the media files of individual chats from your phone’s cache to free up storage space. If you are a premium Telegram user, you now have access to 10 more custom emoji packs that you can use to express yourself better. Lastly, the update introduces additional new interactive emoji with full-screen effects.

There are several other minor new features in Telegram 9.2 that you can read about in the official announcement.

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