Google has reportedly been working on a Hangouts-type service for small businesses called Helpouts. The idea is that anyone can use the software to sell services to end-users by helping them. The service is currently invite-only, though the website is now live and allows people to sign up for when it launches. Here's a brief description offered by the site:
Helpouts isn't available yet, but we're currently inviting people with expertise across a number of topics to be able to offer Helpouts when we go live — and to make money sharing their skills and knowledge with the world.
It sounds like the service will let a software programmer, for example, log on and help someone out if they're stuck with code. Or maybe a mechanic can give a brief rundown on how to change your oil at home. Other experts can help people interested in gardening, beauty, health, electronics, music, cooking, education and more. Money will be exchanged, according to the site, though right now it's unclear how – or how much of a percentage Google will take for offering the service.
We can tell from the screen shots on Google's site that it will be supported across platforms, whether you're on a phone, laptop or computer, and will provide real-time video chat similar to Hangouts. It's unclear when the service will officially launch, though we're excited to give it a whirl when it does.