Planet GOOG

Google Helpouts Will Let You Annoy Experts With Your Personal Questions

Care to take a look at this rash?
Fiona Wallice and just another patient. (Photo: Showtime)

Fiona Wallice and just another patient. (Photo: Showtime)

What’s Fiona Wallice going to think of this? Google is testing a face-to-face video chat service called Helpouts that connects users and experts with a variety of skill sets. The search giant provides the platform for the service, which handles scheduling, payment and finding new customers. 

Good luck passing as an organic botanist, though since Google verifies so-called experts before they’re brought on. When approved, they can charge two ways: by the minute or the session. It’s also a sly way to get people to actually use Google Wallet, since the company’s fee–20 percent of each transaction–is processed.

So far, we can see a lot of YouTube stars providing services on this because its seeking people from fashion and beauty, cooking and even health and counseling. Brands that traditionally offered services in person, like Weight Watchers, are sniffing around Helpouts to see if this another way to make money.

A launch date has yet to be announced. But we’d pay good money for Dr. Wallice’s sage advice in curtly telling us what we’re doing wrong in our life–i.e., thinking of this.

(Via The Verge)

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