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Google launches Helpouts, paid one-on-one Hangouts that put you in touch with experts


As we reported previously, Google has just publicly launched a new platform for getting real-time help with any problem you might be facing. Helpouts is a new video chat service that lets you talk one-on-one with experts in a variety of fields such as art, fashion, healthcare, and gardening.

Some of the Helpouts are free while others will cost per session or per minute, depending on the topic and the expert. The chats are powered by Hangouts, but only involve two parties—you and your instructor. The instructors can set times that they are available for a Helpout, and users can book a session in advance. Instructors credentials, certifications, and experience are listed right on the booking page and users can leave reviews of their sessions.

It appears Google will at least partly be allowing providers on Helpouts manage their own experts. For example, TakeLessons, one of Google’s partners providing music lessons on Helpouts explained out it will offer services by tapping into the experts already using its own service:

TakeLessons Account Managers will work with a select group of teachers on to set up profiles on Helpouts and will integrate payments with their existing TakeLessons accounts.

Instructors who are approved to create profiles on will now have the ability to offer lessons on Helpouts. Only providers with the highest TakeLessons Quality Scores will represent TakeLessons on Helpouts. These providers will now have the ability to teach more sessions with underutilized blocks of their schedule and Helpout customers will have access to great teachers.

If you happen to be an expert in one of Google’s selected fields, you can apply for the ability to host Helpouts as well. Experts are able to set their own schedules and fees, and receive payments for their sessions through Google Wallet.

There are no mobile apps for Helpouts yet, but Google does say that you can participate in the sessions from mobile devices.

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