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This article was published on August 21, 2013

Google quietly introduces Helpouts: Google+ Hangouts that connect people to experts

Google quietly introduces Helpouts: Google+ Hangouts that connect people to experts Image by: Getty Images/Fuse
Kaylene Hong
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Kaylene Hong

Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.

Google is currently testing Helpouts — touted as “a new way to connect people who need help with people who can give help, over live video, anytime, anywhere”. The new service will be tied into Google+ and it’s basically Google Hangouts: not with friends, but with teachers.

The service isn’t live yet, as Google is still in the midst of gathering people with expertise across a number of topics. There are currently eight categories listed under the Helpouts support page, which include: Home & Garden, Computers & Electronics, Health & Counseling, Nutrition & Fitness, Fashion & Beauty, Art & Music, Cooking and Education.

Google isn’t taking the “expert” part lightly — anyone who wants to create a Helpout has to list down evidence of qualifications such as certificates, training and experience. If you want to provide any medical service, Google will also get a third party to check your certificate or licensure.

Helpouts can either be charged (with payment handled via Google Wallet), or for free. Google will take a platform fee of 20 percent for any paid Helpouts, which includes credit card transaction and Wallet fees.

➤ Via Android Police