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Helpouts: Help when you need it over live video

11.05.13_technewsrprt_img_stories_regina-timothy_google-helpouts

What if getting help for a computer glitch, a leaky pipe, or a homework problem was as easy as clicking a button? What if you could connect via real-time video to a music teacher or a yoga instructor from the comfort of your home? What if you could get someone knowledgeable to get you “unstuck” when you really need it? Well, Google intends to make this possible.

Yesterday Google launched a new product called Helpouts, a website that lets people get and give help over real-time video. The search giant imagines the service will be used for things like cooking tips, home repair, guitar lessons, and even healthcare.

With Helpouts, consumers can choose who to get help from based on their qualifications, their availability, their price, their ratings and reviews. Consumers can get help from individuals or from brands they already know and trust, like like Sephora, One Medical, Weight Watchers, Rosetta Stone, and more. Once you’re in a Helpout, you can you can share your computer screen, collaboratively edit a presentation, or record your Helpout.

The video service will launch in a few small categories with the number of people giving help and the type of help available growing over time. Anyone interested in creating a Helpout should be prepared to provide evidence of qualifications, such as certifications, training, and experience.

Although Helpouts can range from free to up to $20 an hour or more, the video service provides brands with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge within their industry. For example, community managers can offer product tutorials and even your leadership team and brand ambassadors can get involved.

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