We’d already been let in on Google’s next big endeavor with Hangouts before. Dubbed Helpouts, it’s a service that will allow folks to get 1-on-1 expert help from other people for a nominal fee. Whether you need help with your new phone or PC, or want to be shown a recipe to get ready for Thanksgiving, you’d be able to pay someone (either per minute or per session) to show you how to do nearly anything you need.
Google has finally made the formal announcement via their blog. “With Helpouts, you can choose who you get help from based on their qualifications, their availability, their price, their ratings and reviews,” the post reads. Whether it’s an individual offering up their own free time or a corporation looking to add another dimension of customer support, you’ll be able to connect with people in a secure, convenient way, and you’ll be able to do it from either PC or mobile.
You’ll be able to share screens with each other, collaborate on documents and more — Google provides all the tools needed to make for a successful sessions. More than that, if the person needing help feels their needs weren’t met, Google will honor a money-back guarantee. They will take a look at each request on a case-by-case basis and determine what to do based on the archive of the session.
Of course, a service like this could be abused by the unpleasant souls of the world, but Google thankfully isn’t overlooking the importance of abuse and harassment. The company makes it easy to report any wrongdoing, and promises to review take action on every single complaint they receive:
We will enforce Helpouts policies to ensure a safe environment where people can learn from each other and share information. When we disapprove a Helpouts listing, receive reports of abuse, or take action based on violations of Helpouts policies, accounts will be flagged. Some violations will result in immediate account suspension or termination
The service will only launch with a few categories to start, but Google is looking to add a lot more over time. Anyone can sign up to be a helper, and anyone can find help as long as they can pay for it with funds from a Google Wallet account. If you’re on either side of that fence and want to see what the fuss is about, be sure to head to Google Helpouts and sign up for yourself.