Television

Google announces 'Helpouts', a help-for-cash video chat service

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MUMBAI: Google has quietly launched a website for "Google Helpouts," a new p2p video chat helpline service. Anyone can sign up to receive or provide help, and providers can make money off chat sessions.

While Helpouts is yet to launch, a good deal of information can be gained from the support site. Anyone can sign up to provide help; just enter in your skills, availability, qualifications, and pricing, and Google will match you with people in need of your assistance. You can even include an introductory video of the services you'll be providing. Once you're all set up, customers can schedule a video chat session during your available hours.

Of course, the service requires a Google+ account. If you choose to charge someone for your time, payments will be handled by Google Wallet, and Google will take a 20 per cent cut. The support pages confirm support for desktop browsers, Android, and iOS, and Google is promising a 100 per cent money back guarantee for unhappy customers.

The setup for some helpout listings can be pretty elaborate. This page shows that you can style your helpouts like a structured course, including any preparation or materials the person might need before starting. Google even has a process in place to verify medical certificates and licences.

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