Google to shut down Helpouts live video service

Helpouts, launched in 2013, never caught on

Google's Helpouts live video service let people connect with experts to receive information.

Google's Helpouts live video service let people connect with experts to receive information.

Google is pulling the plug on Helpouts, the company's service to provide answers and advice by connecting information seekers with experts via live video.

With Helpouts, Google sought to provide an information platform built around live tutorials rather than clickable search results or links. The goal of the service, launched in 2013, was to let people connect with experts to get information about practically anything, whether it be photography, cooking, fitness or home improvement. Google took a 20 percent transaction fee from most types of paid sessions. A desktop version was offered, as well as mobile apps.

But Helpouts never took off. "The Helpouts community includes some engaged and loyal contributors, but unfortunately, it hasn't grown at the pace we had expected," Google posted Friday to the Helpouts website. Google will shut down the service on April 20. Users can download their Helpouts history with the Google Takeout service until Nov. 1 of this year, the company said.

The Helpouts mobile apps appear to already have been removed from the Google Play and Apple App stores.

Google didn't provide any additional comment on the reason behind the shutdown. Helpouts' main competitors may have been Google's other products, including its web search engine.

For example, Google now displays relevant information in response to people's queries via its Knowledge Graph feature at the top of the search results page, in addition to the traditional website links. The feature now covers a range of topics including public figures, places and nutrition data, with health information being the latest addition.

Google did not charge a transaction fee on health-oriented Helpouts.

People also often use Google's YouTube as a source of information, not just entertainment. For example, the site features videos meant to help students understand course work, and to help homeowners learn how to do home repairs.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetGooglesearch enginesvideoInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?