Google Helpouts Sells Expert Advice Over Video Chat

Playing off of their similarly-named chatting service ‘Hangouts,’ Google announced a product called Helpouts, which is a video-based, online ecosystem of, well, helping out other individuals. Users can pay for the expert advice of professionals in the fields that people want help in, on a one-on-one basis. Partners include Sephora, Kitchit, and HomeAdvisor. It plays into notions of the shared economy and the DIY movement, but through a paywall. For a company like Google this service isn’t that big of a step forward in a purely technological sense, but it could mean genuine help and success for those working on projects in their own homes, while also encouraging Google users to step out of their comfort zones with more confidence.