Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
Google is working on a new service called “Helpouts” that will act as an ecommerce marketplace for skills, according to TechCrunch.
Users with skills and services to offer would log onto the service and offer to help out over live video for a fee. A sample screenshot obtained by the publication included categories such as computers, education, food, health, hobbies and repair. Helpouts could either be scheduled as classes or initiated instantly.
Google has already achieved success with its Hangouts video technology, which would reportedly provide the foundation for Helpouts. Netflix recently used Hangouts for a quarterly earnings fireside chat, and numerous public figures have used the service to engage with the public.
While Helpouts does sound like a neat extension of the Hangout platform, my initial impression is that it’s an odd fit for Google. This could certainly be the domain of any number of startups, but revenue from Helpouts would need to grow quite large to make much of a contribution to Google’s bottom line.
When contacted about Helpouts, A Google representative provided the following statement:
We’re constantly experimenting with new features to help improve people’s online experiences. We don’t have any specific updates to share at this time.
Image credit: Fuse
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.