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Google Helpouts launches, a market for live video lessons from experts

Google is making one of its newest products generally available to the publictoday, hoping that it will allow people to receive instant help through live video feeds. Called Helpouts, the app available on the Web and Android devices lets users get advice from experts at nearly any time of the day.

Previously unveiled in August as a private service, Helpouts is now open to anyone and they can tap into more than 1,000 vetted providers. At launch, it will feature eight categories, including Home & Garden, Computers & Electronics, Health & Counseling, Nutrition & Fitness, Fashion & Beauty, Art & Music, Cooking, and Education.

In showcasing Helpouts, Google's Director of Product Management Osi Imeokparia said that there are five key elements behind the service:

  • The ability to easily discover people with the expertise that users need at the moment that they need it
  • Having a convenient way to book based on your schedule
  • Flexible pricing where users can choose experts who charge a flat fee or a per minute basis
  • An organization structure that lets users sort through past Helpouts and receive notifications of new ones
  • The ability to share the experience with friends and the public through Google+ integration

Helpout