Google launches new commerce platform, ‘Helpouts’
San Francisco – Google on Wednesday launched a new online service called “Helpouts,” aiming to connect businesses and consumers to solve problems or get advice on a range of issues.
The service is similar to Google’s “Hangouts” with live video for paid services in areas ranging from computer tech support to weight loss.
“What if getting help for a computer glitch, a leaky pipe, or a homework problem was as easy as clicking a button?” Google’s Udi Manber said in a blog post announcing the new service.
“What if you could get someone knowledgeable to get you ‘unstuck’ when you really need it?”
Manber said some of the services now are “how to fix your garage door, or how to remove a computer virus; or it might be guidance completing a project, like building a deck. ”
But he added that “on Wednesday is just the beginning. We’re starting small and in a few categories.”
The categories being offered initially include art and music, computers, cooking, education and careers, fashion and beauty, fitness and nutrition, health and home and garden.
The Helpouts range from free to USD 240 or more. Some examples include chemistry tutoring and homework, learning to play guitar, yoga instruction, French language lessons, fixing computer problems or refrigerator repair.
“With Helpouts, you can choose who you get help from based on their qualifications, their availability, their price, their ratings and reviews,” Manber said.