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Google Launches Helpouts, A Live Video Chat with an Expert

Google wants to help answer those pesky questions that you cannot find through its search engine. Google is calling it Helpouts which will let you video chat with an expert in the field that you have a question in. The idea is simple and the idea could be very helpful for people who want an expert answer. Some of these Helpouts will cost per minute, hour, and some a flat fee.

Helpouts has over a 1,000 pre-screened experts from a variety of fields, including cooking, home improvement, technology and fashion and beauty. The service will launch in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, but a Google spokesperson said that they hope to be in every country soon.

Helpouts is powered by Google’s Hangouts video chat platform, and uses the same technology as hangouts which includes the VP8 video codec. Google did not wrap in Helpouts into Hangouts, and is offering a standalone app and website. Google will  want to bring the app to iOS, but Apple’s rules on taking a cut of all e-commerce will hinder Google’s hopes to be on the platform. Google VP of Engineering Udi Manber didn’t want to comment to any future features, but he did mention that Google intends to build APIs for Helpouts that could allow for outside apps to access the video platform.

What do you think of Google announcing Helpouts? Would you want to use this video platform or would you rather just Google for an answer? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Google Helpouts