Google Helpouts lets IT experts charge for video advice
By Barry Collins
Posted on 21 Aug 2013 at 09:27
Google is launching a new service - Google Helpouts - that could give IT professionals a new way to cash-in on their expertise.
The service will allow experts to offer one-on-one advice for a set fee, with Google taking a 20% cut. Helpouts is based on Google Hangouts, the search company's video conferencing service.
Helpouts isn't only pitched at IT experts - Google says it could be used to "share cooking recipes, speak a new language, or provide health tips", among a host of other potential applications. There's also a long list of topics that Google prohibits, including providing advice on sex, gambling, and dangerous or illegal acts.
Helpers will be allowed to advertise their availability, with potential customers able to schedule an appointment online. The video calls can be made from mobile devices as well as PCs.
Google is offering Helpouts customers a "100% money back guarantee" if, for any reason, they aren't satisfied with the advice offered, which may be of concern to potential helpers.
If a helper doesn't volunteer a refund, Google suggests it will review a recording of the Helpout session. "Since we will use the recording of a Helpout to review each 100% Money Back Guarantee request, if you opt out of having your Helpout recorded, you forfeit your eligibility for the guarantee," Google states.
Some sessions, such as those offering personal counselling or health advice, will not be recorded, and are therefore ineligible for the refund guarantee.
Google Helpouts is currently in an invitation-only beta, but potential helpers can register their interest on the site.
Don't do it
so yet another way for Google et al to skim off the top. 20% for basically doing very little. Same as the Amazon argument - yes you get less for each book but you will end up with more profits.
Set up a website for free, use skype for next to nothing and stop the likes of Google freebooting.
Put another way tax in the uk is around 20 to 40% dependent on NI contributions and how much you earn, factor in google and basically you're earning more for other people than you are for yourself
By simontompkins on 21 Aug 2013
also should have mentioned that the refund is sneaky, of course they want to record you. They want to look at the way you do it, they'll also be able to analyse who is the most successful, what revenue comes in then since its their service change the model to be google only.
In the industry many people have found that you develop a business which relies on their service or software can have the bench posts moved and then you're lost with no ability to progress.
The irony is in the title which should be reversed to 'Helpout Google'
By simontompkins on 21 Aug 2013
Simontompkins, you are a doubting Thomas! Google skim off your profits? Never!
You are right of course. The problem with setting up your own website is always going to be marketing. The likes of Google, Amazon and ebay is that they have the pulling power. A lonely website can sit there ignored by the masses. So 20% of nothing saved is still nothing. Paying Google that 20% may be worth it.
As for changing business model, what if Skype change their business model then you will have the same problem!
The title should really be You scratch Google's back and Google will tickle yours!
By smartermind on 22 Aug 2013
You may as well market your own website, as you will still need to promote yourself on Google to compete with the other 10,000 users trying to do the same as you on Helpout.
I think you have it right here. Presumably Google will use the collected successful material to effectively build a stock of troubleshooting videos.
That only leaves them on step away from hiring a team and producing a giant "here's how to do it" website, without having to pay experts for the knowledge.
By Gindylow on 22 Aug 2013
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