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Introducing a better way to brand and share custom URLs with more people

Founder and CEO Ankit Pansari shares why we created a space for users to get more out of OSlash
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OSlash is now public! 

Ah while I wish this were true, OSlash going public is exactly what our new feature entails. 

We built OSlash to make link sharing less cumbersome and frustrating. By giving people the power to name links as they want, we want to simplify how information is recalled and surfaced within a workspace. 

With knowledge at one’s fingertips, work becomes more collaborative, open, and most importantly, inclusive. Teams tend towards building creative solutions to problems that encompass a broader range of perspectives. 

However, by prohibiting access to our shortcuts, we were doing a great disservice to the very vision of OSlash. 

Ergo, we’re updating our access settings to allow teams to include more people in their process and share information via branded URLs with countless others. With this release, it would be possible for users to share their shortcuts such as o/my-reading-list with the web. 

OSlash access settings - a quick timeline

Nine months back we released OSlash to our first batch of beta users. 

They started with creating memorable shortcuts for the enterprise. All our shortcuts by default were available to everyone in the workspace. So if someone were to search for the enterprise’s insurance policy, they’d just have to intuitively go to o/insurance. 

As beta users turned into habitual users of OSlash, they (including us) started feeling a need for OSlashing URLs they didn’t wish to share with others. And a desire for a faster way to reach and recall pages only they visit frequently arose.

Enter private shortcuts. It was now possible to OSlash a page for your eyes only such as o/my/to-do-list. 

Soon after we received requests from people who wanted to create a bunch of shortcuts and share them with just a lucky few. We immediately went on to build custom sharing options in collections so that a shortcut such as o/design could only be shared with the design team and no one else. 

Up until now, however, every shortcut was accessible to only those who were part of the workspace in which the shortcut was created. 

To access a shortcut, non-users first had to sign up on OSlash and become a part of the workspace after submitting such a request to the workspace admin. 

Here’s what changed

After analyzing user behavior, we realized that in our bid to be exclusively a workspace URL manager we were imposing artificial barriers to information sharing. 

Our users wished to just type out the shortcut in their emails and shoot it to whoever they liked. Without bothering with whether the person on the other side is an OSlash user or a workspace member or not. 

Moreover, as users uncovered the power of naming links, we received a lot of requests to allow them to name the URLs they share even on a public domain. 

Given this request fell in line with our vision and lowered the barriers to information sharing, we decided to introduce the Share to web feature. 

Now instead of using a URL shortener service that produces a string of incomprehensible characters and values, you can share your blog for instance using o/new-blog on social media. 

Here’s how to create a shortcut that can be shared with the public.

With OSlash autocomplete, we will automatically link the custom OSlash URL for the public shortcut in your emails. However, to share the shortcut on social media or a public document, copy-paste the shortcut using the OSlash widget, OSlash dashboard, or the OSlash launcher.

We are excited to see how these updates to shortcut access settings give more users an opportunity to share their links with others. These changes will be rolling out to everyone over the next several weeks. Let us know what you think by sharing your feedback. You can learn more about public shortcuts in OSlash by visiting our Help Center.

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