Google Introduces Helpouts
November 29th, 2013 by
Haven’t heard of Google Helpouts yet? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Until recently, Google’s newest venture has been fairly hush-hush, so here’s a brief overview of the product and how to become a part of it.
What Is Google Helpouts?
Helpouts seems to be Google’s attempt to branch out into ecommerce by directly connecting businesses to people via video chat and offering advice, information, or services. The types of information available on Helpouts range from computer diagnostics, to medical advice, to cooking tips, to yoga classes. In speaking with a Google Helpouts rep about this new product, he described it as a search engine that people can use to browse for certain professionals or knowledgeable individuals on a variety of topics and connect with them. Individuals willing to provide their expertise via this new Google product can charge by the minute, offer a flat fee, or, if they feel so generous, can simply do it for free.
How to Join
As of now, Google Helpouts is on an invitation-only basis for businesses or professionals looking to share their knowledge for free or for a fee. There is an option to schedule a demonstration of this product with a member of the Google Helpouts team via screen share and chat. There, the reps will give you a preview of the features and answer any of your questions. Presumably they will offer you an invitation code to join if you express interest in offering your business expertise via this platform. Google also offers a link to request an invitation code. However, if you’re just looking to get help or learn more about a topic, you are able to join now and start searching for professionals. The only requirement is that you create a public Google+ profile.
How successful will this product be? It’s hard to tell at this point. With the increasing number of people more willing to go on Yahoo Answers than ask a friend a question, perhaps Google sees Helpouts as an alternative, providing qualified answers to those curious souls. Or perhaps those people asking ridiculous questions on Yahoo Answers will want to maintain a certain level of anonymity. However, for the sake of not wasting time, let’s hope that those questions no one should’ve ever asked remain on Yahoo Answers.