Tech giant Google has launched a new service called "helpouts" and it isn't welfare assistance. Rather, it's a live video streaming service for people to receive instructions or assistance for free or for a fee. If the service takes hold Google will stand to make money on every paid session via transaction fee. No fees are charged if the help is free. Initially, paid health-related "helpouts" won't be charged, but a fee will apply to them starting on January 1.
Anyone with a mobile device or computer equipped with a webcam, microphone, and Google+ account can participate. They also have an android app to facilitate the helpouts (Google owns the Android operating system).
"Most of the world's useful information still resides in people's heads," Udi Manber, vice president of engineering at Google said at a small briefing with reporters in San Francisco on Monday. Helpouts "opens the door to that information as well."
Consumers will be able leave reviews of the different video chat experts.
So how much will Google charge? The actual dollar amount depends on how much the provider charges for the help session, but the rate is 20%. Payments will be made exclusively through Google Wallet. The tech giant says the 20% fee will cover credit card fees and the money-back guarantee; Google will return a customer's money if they are unsatisfied with any transaction.
The providers have the choice of charging customers either a flat fee for the help or per minute. Initially, Google will launch the service with the following categories: art & music, cooking, computers & electronics, education & careers, fashion & beauty, fitness & nutrition, health, home & garden.
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Google introduces Helpouts, a new way to get help over video