Google is launching another service through its live video chats program Hangouts. The chat app now supports Helpouts – a video tutorial and video assistance service with access to experts in various fields. If you want to test out the new service, there are plenty of free videos available but you must be a Google+ user.
For paid videos, Google handles all of the payments and takes a 20% commission through Google Wallet, which you must have in order to pay for videos. Google seems to be strategically tying its customers to Google+ and Google Wallet by luring them with new, free services.
Currently, Google is vetting all experts and guaranteeing money back on all unsatisfied orders in order promote the new product. The only user reviews given are overwhelmingly positive – which makes things look a bit suspicious, but they do tend to be given mostly for free videos. Currently, the Helpout with the most reviews appears to be weight loss advice for the Holidays from Weightwatchers. If you’re an expert or if you want to share expertise in a particular field, you have to request a sign-up code. Once you’re in, you get to set your price, which can also be a rate per minute. Users will only be charged for minutes connected, even if they lose WiFi or wireless signals during a scheduled Helpout.
Here’s how to get started:
There are two ways to get a Helpout — instantly and scheduled. Search results and category listings include the availability of each provider. When a listing has a green “Available for live help now” button, you are just a few clicks away from getting help instantly. If a provider is busy helping someone else, you can wait for them to become available. You’ll be able to see your place in line, and it will be updated as people ahead of you finish. You can decide to leave the queue at any time. Otherwise, every listing has a link to the provider’s Helpouts calendar. You can pick a time slot or send a message to request a new one. And once a Helpout is scheduled, it can automatically be added to your Google calendar, and we’ll send you a notification 5 minutes before the scheduled start to remind you. You can choose how you want to be notified either through email, SMS, or directly on the site through Helpouts settings.