Google Helpouts to let you buy and sell video chats with experts

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Google is giving experts a convenient way to profit from their talents online with a new service called Helpouts. It’s still being tested, but Google says it is currently inviting people "with expertise across a number of topics" to sign up in advance of the eventual public release.

Google takes a flat 20 percent cut of whatever experts pull in

Helpouts are face-to-face video calls powered by Google+ Hangouts and will be available on all of that service’s existing platforms. All of the scheduling, payment, rankings, and hunting for customers are managed by the service, and in return, Google takes a flat 20 percent cut of whatever experts pull in. Options will exist to to either charge by the minute, by the session, or give your services away for free.

So far, Google has only listed a handful of categories that would-be experts can sell their services for, including Home & Garden, Computers & Electronics, and Cooking, and before you get the go-ahead from Google, the company wants to see a copy of your qualifications. Last month, TechCrunch reported that Google had partnered with brands like Sears and Weight Watchers during testing, so it’s possible we could see both individiuals and corporations selling their services on Helpouts.

Google isn’t the first to build a functioning market from the supply of expertise on the internet, but its scale and existing Hangouts infrastructure could easily put it ahead of alternatives. So far, there’s been no mention of an official launch date for Helpouts, but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything.

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