With a goal to "help people help each other", Google has officially launched Helpouts, a platform where anyone can sell their skills and services over live video to help those in need. As shown in the promo video below, you can use Google Helpouts to easily reach out to experts who can help you fix a computer problem, learn to play guitar, master your yoga technique, bake a cake and so on.
Anyone with a Google account can participate. A range of topics are available on the Helpouts home page, where you can select a service provider that fits your particular need and schedule a help appointment. You can also get an instant help session based on the expert's availability. Video conferencing is handled by Hangouts, of course, and transactions are done through Google Wallet, with customers paying by minute or by job and Google taking a 20% cut of the set price (except for health services).
If you've signed up for a Helpout and the provider never shows up, you won't be charged for the session. Google also provides money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the service received.
You can check out ratings, reviews, qualifications and achievements of experts before opting for a Helpout with them. Though the service was launched yesterday, Google has been actively working with service providers for quite a while now. These are either individuals or representatives from well known brands like Sephora and Red Beacon that have been subjected to a thorough background checks before joining Helpouts.
Currently the Helpouts service is available through web and Android devices. Providers are allowed in by invitation only and include people from the UK, US, Australia, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand at the moment. The minimum age requirement for participating in Helpouts is 13 and 18 for customers and service providers, respectively. Health service is an exception for which the customers must be 18+ to participate.