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Google have begun the invite process of signing users up to Google Helpouts, and getting them started creating listings. For those of you who missed it, Helpouts aims to provide a marketplace for users to offer real time help to anyone around the web, letting anyone connect via Google’s existing Google Hangouts architecture which includes real time video chat. See the video below for an intro.
I received my invite code today, similar to the one Mike Blumenthal reported on back in September – and snapped a few screenshots of inside the initial interface.
Example / Sample Listing
Showcasing what a perfect listing is likely to contain. Note the ability to review the quality of a particular Helpout provider, along with the associated marketplace price.
Setting Up A Listing
There are options for title of your listing, the category, description (including optional links) , any relevant qualifications you may have, and the pricing that you have chosen. Payments are facilitated through Google Checkout.
Various Models Available:
Various Categories available – indicating the sort of target market that Google potentially see for the Helpouts product. Interestingly, there are already various people using Hangouts creatively already, and marketplaces such as ChefHangout which Google will be looking to compete against with their Helpout product.
Adding Photos to a listing.
900 pixels wide is the guideline for the backdrop to a listing.
Add a Video Introduction
The above image shows what the final Listing is likely to look like on the web. You’ll notice the listing is currently pending approval – interesting to see that Google are being extremely careful about what makes its way onto this product. Probably because of its chance of abuse from spammers (I can see these profiles making their way publically into the SERPs before long) and to prevent it being used for adult services. It will be extremely interesting to see adoption of this one, particularly as there is real incentive for users to offer help from their living room, and potentially make decent money from it.
Widgets that can be embedded on sites to invoke real time help would be an obvious additional feature once they get this one off the ground to further grow out the product, and / or direct integration into SERPs to match queries where people are looking for help on particular subjects. Watch this space.