Hangouts turn handy: Google Helpouts to offer video chats with experts

Hangouts become Helpouts in Google scheme offering video chats with experts
Helpouts will give experts chance to cash in on their knowledge

Google has officially announced the rumoured Helpouts video chat service, which will put users in contact with an expert whenever they require help with problems or answers to a myriad of earthly questions.

The new Helpouts service, which will be powered by Google Hangouts, will provide assistance in a number of categories, with Home & Garden, Computer & Electronics, Cooking & Education, Health & Counseling, Nutrition & Fitness, Fashion & Beauty and Art & Music listed at present.

Experts providing knowledge will be able to charge - although the option is there to pass on their sage advice for free - with Google taking a 20% cut for matching up the helper and the helpee.

Share your passion

Those who make use of the service, which is currently in testing and not live to the public, can choose to pay by the minute or by the session and will be entitled to a refund if they feel the session didn't match their expectations.

In a post on its newly-live Helpout site, Google explained: "Ever wanted to share cooking recipes, speak a new language, or provide health tips? Helpouts allows you to share your passion, expertise and more through live video, right from your computer or mobile device!

"If you're a professional or an expert in a particular area, share your knowledge with people who want to learn from you by giving a Helpout. Scheduling is simple and handled right from Helpouts. You can allow customers to schedule a session based on your availability. Since Helpouts are hosted via Hangouts video calls, you're not tied to an office and you can connect with people around the world."

However, the Helpouts experts can't be any old know-all who thinks they can solve the mysteries of time and space after a few chardonnays. Google will require would-be helpers to provide proof of their knowledge through certificates, training and experience in the field.

Those interesting in registering for the platform can sign up to be informed when it goes live at the Helpouts homepage.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.