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Google Launches Real Help From Real People In Real Time
By: Amanda Markell
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The leader in search advertising has yet again flexed their innovative muscles this week and launched "Helpouts." Much like the eBay of the services world, Helpouts is a live video-chat network of online learning. The network is composed of over 1,000 experts chosen through a screening process and can teach you everything from how to fold egg whites into a cake batter to mastering the cobra yoga pose. Some of the experts include brands like Weight Watchers and Rosetta Stone.
 
In their blog, Google writes about the future of Helpouts, saying, "Today is just the beginning. We’re starting small and in a few categories. The number of people giving help on Helpouts and the type of help available will grow over time. Helpouts may not be suitable for every occasion, and it will take time to get used to interactions via real time video. We hope that the efficiency, convenience and global reach of Helpouts will make people’s lives easier in the long term." They describe the service as "real help from real people in real time."
 
Helpouts strengthens Google’s presence in other channels and continues to set them apart from its previous role as a traditional search engine. To use the service, customers need to have a Google+ account and make payments through Google Wallet. It would be wise not to underestimate the growing strength of these two services. Though the social media site that seemingly flopped after its launch has left the minds of many Facebookers and Tweeters, the sleeping giant has made strides as it merged Google Maps and Google local business pages. And Google Wallet can stand up to the best of payment systems with the ability to securely share money with friends, use loyalty cards, and make payments easily on your favorite websites.
 
So will the revenue even move the dial for this search advertising giant? During testing Google charged 20% of the service price for a Helpouts platform fee. But the real opportunity comes with the potential to encourage small businesses to promote their brands and products with the Helpout service and become more integrated in their Google marketing services ecosystem. Small businesses could then invest in promotion through Google Maps, Google+, Google Helpouts, and others that we can’t even imagine yet.
 
Check out a little more about Google’s work with the initiative to move small to medium-size businesses online through these two micro-documentaries produced by Magnet Media:
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About the Author
Amanda Markell is a marketer in the Greater Boston Area with a passion for branding, new media, and customer insights. 
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