Cloud // Software as a Service
News
8/20/2013
05:51 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Seeks Experts For Helpouts Help Service

People with knowledge worth sharing will soon be able to monetize their minds through Google's forthcoming Helpouts platform.

Google Maps Updated: 10 Cool Features
Google Maps Updated: 10 Cool Features
(click image for larger view)
Google has begun accepting requests to participate in a forthcoming service called Helpouts, through which businesses and individuals can offer advice to others for free or a fee via online video.

As might be expected from the service's name, Helpouts relies on Hangouts, Google's streaming video chat and conferencing service. Using a Hangout, a participating Helpout provider can connect with customers to present guidance on just about any permissible topic.

If the advice is not free, both the Helpout provider and the customer must have a Google Wallet account for payment, and Google will collect a 20% platform fee. Google's fee includes any applicable credit card transaction and Wallet charges.

[ NSA fallout continues. Read Groklaw Shuts Down, Cites Government Surveillance. ]

Google says that the Helpouts platform differs from Hangouts by handling business management details — payments, scheduling, reputation management and customer acquisition.

A company spokeswoman said in an email that Google isn't ready to provide specifics about the capabilities of the Helpouts platform beyond characterizing it as a "one-stop shop in terms of scheduling and payment."

However, the fact that Google is working with Infinity Contact, Capita Customer Management and VXI suggests that it intends to assist Helpouts providers with tools for customer service, customer retention, analytics and other relevant business processes.

Opening up an assistance-oriented business is simply a matter of creating a Helpouts listing, choosing a listing category, writing a listing description, specifying any relevant qualifications, and selecting whether the Helpout is free or paid. If it is paid, it can be paid by the minute or by the session.

Possible categories include: Home & Garden, Computers & Electronics, Health & Counseling, Nutrition & Fitness, Fashion & Beauty, Art & Music, Cooking, and Education.

Helpouts providers must submit a photo and propose a listing for approval. During this test phase, at least, Google says it will review the listing, contact the provider via video, and then issue either an approval or a rejection. Listings may be rejected for lack of qualifications or for policy violations.

Those wishing to offer medical advice will be contacted by a HireRight, a background screening service, for a credential check.

Google has reason to be careful about whom it accepts as a Helpout provider: It is offering Helpout customers a 100% money-back guarantee.

Google says Helpouts will be recorded, exclusively for quality assurance, except if the Helpout falls into the Health & Counseling category or if the customer opts out. Privacy, however, comes with a price: Those who opt out are not eligible for the money-back guarantee.

Google hasn't said when Helpouts will be publicly available. The company says that those who wish to receive further information about the service may sign up to be notified on the Helpouts website.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ANON1252009151911
50%
50%
ANON1252009151911,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/21/2013 | 5:03:04 PM
re: Google Seeks Experts For Helpouts Help Service
20% for an automated service? This should be closer to a 6% commission.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/21/2013 | 4:54:24 PM
re: Google Seeks Experts For Helpouts Help Service
I expect it will. Google's strategy seems to be similar to that of many publishers: point one article/service at another to drive traffic/usage. The big winner here I expect will be Google Wallet, which has not been particularly popular to date.
KMBurnham
50%
50%
KMBurnham,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/21/2013 | 4:00:57 PM
re: Google Seeks Experts For Helpouts Help Service
Interesting service. I wonder if this will help boost interest in Hangouts and activity/participation in its other services like Google+.
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/21/2013 | 1:44:50 PM
re: Google Seeks Experts For Helpouts Help Service
I wonder if the prohibition on sexually explicit content would prevent a legitimate sex therapist from offering advice. Just the first thing that I thought of looking at the prohibited content terms.
8 Steps to Modern Service Management
8 Steps to Modern Service Management
ITSM as we know it is dead. SaaS helped kill it, and CIOs should be thankful. Hereís what comes next.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.