Google already has a video chat service called Hangouts which lets you talk to people you know or broadcast live video to an audience. Now Google is leveraging that technology to launch a new service called Helpouts which can connect you with a stranger — in order to answer a tough question or learn a new skill.

Helpouts lets you find a guitar teacher, a photography wiz, or another professional or expert who can help you touch up your photos, learn to play Stairway, or perfect another skill. The experts are vetted by Google, and most will charge a fee for their time.

Google Helpouts

You can use Google Helpouts using an Android app or a desktop web browser. Google lets you search for helpers by keyword, or you can browser by categories ranging from Computers & Electronics to Fitness & Nutrition.

Experts can charge a fee per session or set a rate per minute.

Note that while folks have to be verified by Google before they can start charging for tutorials or advice, the service is pretty new and it’s likely that the quality of your results may vary from session to session — you’re dealing with real people, not computer algorithms, after all. Google is offering a money-back guarantee at launch though, which helps reduce the risk that you’ll get an abusive drill sergeant when you were looking for someone to help you perfect your pie crust-making skills.

Some of the early partners include Weight Watchers, Home Depot’s RedBeacon service, and One Medical. Health-related Helpouts are designed to be HIPAA-compliant.

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.