Ever watched instructional videos online and wished you could ask questions? That might soon be possible with Google‘s new social networking endeavor. Google Helpouts, whose landing page just went live today, is seeking out experts who will be sharing their time and expertise to other people via live video calls. And maybe even make some money on the side.
Google Helpouts is a platform that provides face-to-face real-time video communication for sharing information and offering assistance. Powered by Google+ Hangouts, it is basically a social networking system that connects people who need help to experts in those fields. Google is currently looking for experts in diverse fields and topics who are willing to give help to other people. Providers can setup available times and dates when customers can schedule a session.
A Google+ account is required to be able to use Helpouts, which further ties the user into Google’s web of services. Once the service goes lives, customers and providers will be able to start or join video calls from computers, Android phones and devices, iPhones, and iPads. It supports the current releases of major web browsers such as Firefox, Safari, and, of course, Chrome, across different operating systems, including Chrome OS and Debian-based Linux systems such as Ubuntu.
Helpouts providers can offer their services for free or charge for a certain amount. Google will apply a platform fee of 20% if the provider chooses to charge a fee. Both the provider and the customer are required to use Google Wallet for payment transactions. There’s no word on when Google Helpouts will launch, but since its page has already gone live, it probably shouldn’t be long now.