Google Introduces Helpouts Video Service
Search engine aims to use Google Hangout video service to offer paid help service in computing, health, fashion and fitness
Google is launching a service that lets consumers pay for live video chats with experts who can provide everything from step-by-step turkey cooking instructions to marriage counseling.
The Google Helpouts service features roughly 1,000 partners in fashion, fitness, computers and other topics, available for live, one-on-one video consultations. The video sessions can be as short as a few minutes or can last several hours, depending on the topic, with pricing set by each individual provider.[blockquote cite=”Udi Manber – Vice President of engineering at Google”] Most of the world’s useful information still resides in people’s heads. Helpouts opens the door to that information as well.
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- Google will initially provide tight oversight of the Helpouts website, deciding which types of services can be offered on Helpouts – possibly as a measure to prevent it being used for pornography.
- For providers of medical consultations, Google will conduct background checks to ensure that the provider has valid credentials.
- In addition to individual experts, large US brands such as cosmetics brand Sephora, dieting company Weight Watchers and translation tuition service Rosetta Stone will also be offering video sessions on the Helpouts service.
Google will take 20% of the fee that the providers collect from consumers for the video chats, though Google is initially waiving the transaction fee for providers in the “Health” category.
The company also said that Consumers can leave reviews of the different video chat experts and Google will refund consumers who are not satisfied with their video consultation.