This morning, Google launched Helpouts, a system built around Google Hangouts where people can receive support and help from real people. If you have a problem, simply type in the question you have, then relevant people who can help answer your question or guide you through an experience are listed.
For example, if you need help baking a cake, a hopefully-qualified baker will be listed, whose time can then be bought and they will help you one-on-one over Hangouts. Need help learning guitar? You can bet there are plenty of people that can help you rock a few chords in no time for the right price.
Here’s the basic idea on Helpouts as listed by Google.
With Helpouts, you can choose who you get help from based on their qualifications, their availability, their price, their ratings and reviews. You can connect instantly or book in advance. You can get help from individuals or from brands you already know and trust, like Sephora, One Medical, Weight Watchers, Redbeacon (a Home Depot company), and Rosetta Stone.
Once you’re in a Helpout, you can do more than just talk—you can share your computer screen, collaboratively edit a presentation, or record your Helpout. And if the experience doesn’t meet your expectations, we offer a full money back guarantee.
For now, the service is closed to those who want to sign up to give Helpouts, as Google is sure to keep an eye on its quality assurance. The last thing they need is unqualified individuals ruining the service’s good name and not helping people who are looking for genuine help and paying real money.
There is an Android app for the service, which will give you a good idea of what Helpouts can be used for as of right now. Give it a try if you need help and let us know what you think.