Google announced back in August of this year that they were launching ‘Helpouts‘, a live online video ‘marketplace’ aimed at bringing businesses and individuals together to buy and sell specific services. Now it looks like the first invites are going out in a soft launch of the Google product. Although the home page remains invite only (unless you’ve been sent a code) you can find out a little more about the service via the FAQs where there is information on how to create and list a Helpout. You can offer a service for free or you can choose to charge for your time and experience by session or per minute. Current categories you can offer your advice in are Home & Garden, Computers & Electronics, Health & Counselling, Nutrition & Fitness, Fashion & Beauty, Art & Music, Cooking and Education.

Helpouts, according to Google, are a way for experts and professionals to “to make money sharing their skills and knowledge with the world”, and to do this over live video, any time and anywhere. Here’s a promo video that explains more about what Helpouts are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=aF8xPGGjfU0

The internet revolves around giving and receiving advice but there’s nothing quite like asking an expert face to face (via webcam) to talk you through a tricky problem or be there for support and Helpouts could be a potential goldmine for the right consultants who offer consistently good advice and attract great feedback.

Of course, there’s a high potential for scamming, especially in the health category so Google are working with a background vetting company to ensure health care professionals are screened before their listing goes live. ¬†These live video calls also offer unlimited opportunities for more ‘adult’ one on one training sessions but we presume Google are ready for the onslaught of providers looking to make a quick buck in that particular area.

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