Google launches Helpouts, live chats with experts with various skills

Nov. 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. tech giant Google has unveiled Helpouts, offering live video chats with experts on anything from cooking to computing to home repair or yoga.

The tool, launched Tuesday, will allow people to pay to get help from experts in a live video chat similar to Google's current Hangouts offering, CNN reported.

Experts -- and Google has signed up more than 1,000 so far -- can get paid for their services either by the task, by the minute or for a set period of time.

With Helpouts, Google finds itself competing with YouTube -- which it owns -- in the video help arena. People looking for how-to videos can find a staggering array of offerings on YouTube, where such videos are the second-most popular kind of content.

However, Helpouts is designed to go beyond the one-way nature of YouTube videos by offering the capability of interaction between experts and those seeking help.

A number of companies, including Rosetta Stone, Weight Watchers and One Medical have signed up to offer expert help over Helpouts.

At its launch, Helpouts is offering categories for art and music, computer and electronics, cooking, education, fashion and beauty, fitness and nutrition, and home and garden.

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