Google Helpouts: the beginning of a new form of e-commerce?

Google HelpoutsSearch giant Google recently launched a new form of its “Hangouts”: the “Helpouts”. These allow all sorts of service providers to provide courses, advice or coaching for a fee using live video. Observers are convinced that this will give rise to a new form of e-commerce.

Google Hangouts have become tremendously popular in a short period of time. With this particular form of videoconference, which is available via your Google+ account, you can video-chat with several friends or business partners. All the participants are displayed simultaneously and the focus is automatically set on the person who is speaking at that moment. But the Internet giant recently launched a special form of Hangouts: the Helpouts.

Concretely, the purpose of this system is to allow experts to provide personal help via Hangout conversations. This makes it possible to learn to speak a certain language, learn to play an instrument, provide answers to people who have questions about their health, provide extra coaching to those who are about to attend an important job interview, give personal style advice… the sky’s the limit! Experts need to be transparent about their fees and can “receive” their clients in a waiting line, during their “opening hours” or by appointment. Payment is handled via Google Wallet, and Google takes 20% commission. Users are then invited to award points to experts, which are then used as a reference by other people looking for help to choose the best expert based on his/her reputation.

Observers believe that these Helpouts may give rise to a fast-growing new form of e-commerce: freelance experts who will share their knowledge with clients from all around the world, without having to move away from their computer screens. Before you can start as a Helpout expert, you need to be approved by Google. For further information on how this works, please visit the Helpouts help center.