Google Helpouts: When ‘Googling’ Isn’t Enough
What’s the first thing you do when you don’t know the answer to something? You Google it.
Now, if that isn’t enough for you, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has come out with a new service idea called “Helpouts” which was launched earlier this week.
“Real help, from real people, in real time”
This reads on the official webpage. Google Helpouts are a new way to give or receive help over a live video. Hence the simple goal: Help people help each other. “We want to use the convenience and efficiency of the web to enable everyone, no matter where they are or what time it is, to easily connect with someone who can help,” Google wrote.
Art & Music, Computers & Electronics, Cooking, Education & Careers, Fashion & Beauty, Fitness and Nutrition, Health, Home & Garden are the featured categories in which to give or receive help. Help can be found for anything: a quick answer to a problem of the moment, or it can provide guidance to completing a project. Learn Spanish or a new skill, build a deck, improve your writing: it’s all there one click away.
Helpouts have Featured Helpouts of the day. For example, on Veteran’s Day, the new Google service honored its military veterans by highlighting Helpouts created just for them.
Is this Google’s new random act of kindness?
Well, it might, but in a Google dream world this, however, is not a free-of-charge RAK. Though you might access some cost-free featured Helpouts, most times you’ll have to pay for the benefit of having a brief one-on-one webcam master class. During it, you will be able to not only talk, but you can share your computer screen, collaboratively edit a presentation, or record your Helpout. This last point might come in handy in case your experience does not meet your expectations: only when evidence can be provided, Google offers a full money back guarantee.
Anywhere, anyone, anytime?
Anyone can access Helpouts anywhere –as long as they have an internet connection, they pay the fee and they download the Google chat software. However, if their selected choice of “helper” is not available at the moment, they will have to book an appointment –which can actually be convenient for both parties.
Providers of help and advice, however, are all individually approved by Google. The company currently has more than 1,000 – all of which had to go thorough a screening process before the service was launched. Helpout’s providers include not only individuals who are experts on their topics, but also companies, such as Sephora, Redbeacon, Rosetta Stone, One Medical, and Weight Watchers, who can provide help and market their products at the same time. Customers who purchase this service can also help Google determine the quality of their providers, as they can also leave feedback, and users can see the ratings and comments left for each one of them.
Now, the answer to every problem you ever had is one click away. Google is transforming the old “Googling” into a new, more complete, profitable one.