Yesterday Google launched a new product called Helpouts, a website that lets people get and give help over real-time video.
Introduced in August, Helpouts is built around the expertise of consumers and businesses. The search giant imagines the service will be used for things like cooking tips, home repair, guitar lessons, and even healthcare.
At launch, consumers can get help from individuals or from brands like Sephora, One Medical, Weight Watchers, Rosetta Stone, and more. Once in a Helpout, you can share your computer screen, collaboratively edit a document, or record your session.
The video service will launch in a few small categories with the number of people giving help and the type of help available growing over time. Anyone interested in creating a Helpout should be prepared to provide evidence of qualifications, such as certifications, training, and experience.
Thought leaders are often regarded as experts in their respective fields by colleagues and customers. With Helpouts, Google is giving you a new way to profit — though not necessarily financially — from these talents. If you don’t already have an invite code, you can request one from Google.
By providing customers with additional information, you’re creating a unique connection between consumer and brand, as well as ensuring that the details provided are valuable and accurate. Helpouts will also integrate with Google+, giving the experience a social boost.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.