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Airbnb hosts and Etsy sellers have created burner numbers to put on their profiles so customers can contact them, without ringing their personal cell all night long.

"The peer to peer economy is connecting us in a new way to strangers, and what’s been clear to us is that text is a new way people want to communicate inside and outside those peer-to-peer markets," Cohn said.

"I think more people are comfortable with the idea that it's not a personal thing [to be using a burner]," Carter said.

"It’s to protect." Now, 44% of its users have created a burner number for online dating, the company told Business Insider although it declined to comment on just how many users it has (it was last rumored to be in the millions).

"Phone numbers should behave more like software." As a result, they've turned it into a business tool beyond simple communication.