Google has quietly introduced the world to Google Helpouts, a new service that promises to help you make money for helping other people do stuff over video chat. Whether you’re showing someone how to bake the best German chocolate cake ever, or simply giving someone some valuable life advice, you can get paid for your time and energy.
Google Helpouts will utilize Google+ and Hangouts to facilitate the video call part of it, which means it can be used with any modern browser that supports Google Hangouts. Alongside PCs, Google has also mentioned that an Android app is on its way.
There are a couple of age restrictions to adhere to, of course. In order to receive help, you must be at least 13 years of age, and you must be at least 18 years of age to dish it out. Pretty standard stuff, we’d say. With that, you’re probably wondering what Google is doing in the way of privacy to help protect those who wish to use this interesting service. Here’s the condensed version:
Helpouts can be recorded by Google for quality assurance purposes if you opt-in. If you opt-out, Google still reserves the right to enable quality assurance recording in the event that you flag a Helper for abuse. Helpouts can also be recorded for the public consumption of the customer and helper, and this service must be agreed upon by both parties before the recording is released.
If a customer is under the age of 18, a Helpout cannot be recorded, and if Google receives an abuse request after both parties have consented to recording, Google will not make the recording available following the conclusion of the Helpout session.
Also, if a customer isn’t happy with the service they’ve received, they can request a refund within 72 hours of the session ending. If the provider is unwilling to facilitate that request, Google will step in and refer to the QA recording to make a decision. Google may also opt to reimburse the Helper for their time if they feel they adequately and accurately provided the help that was being sought out.
Beyond all that, the only other thing to note is that Google will scrape 20% off the top of any income earned with Helpouts, which is standard practice for the middle man in any service.
How to get in
Wondering how you can get in? Well, it’s not as simple as you’d hope. As with most other new Google products, you’ll need to be lucky enough to get an invitation code somehow. You can request one from Google, of course, but there’s no telling how long it’ll take before they send out another batch of invites. If you’re interested and want to be able to check this service out then there’s no reason to delay putting your email address into the hat. Go ahead and check it out at the Helpouts landing page.