Google’s service that uses Google Hangouts video chat to connect consumers with experts online, had disappeared from both Google Play and iTunes. The idea with Helpouts has been to leverage Google’s identity tools, payment technologies and online video service in order to provide web users with both free and paid advice and support sessions covering a range of topics. Today, the Helpouts website continues to work, offering sessions on topics like Photography, Parenting, Fashion and Beauty, Cooking and much more. Unfortunately for Google, much of this sort of advice is already available for free on its other video site, YouTube.
Google’s message posted on the Helpouts site:
“so long” to our Helpouts community.
We have some sad news to share: Helpouts will be shutting down on April 20, 2015.
Since launching in 2013, Helpouts has been a home for people to connect with experts on topics they want to learn about or seek advice and solutions to everyday challenges. The Helpouts community includes some engaged and loyal contributors, but unfortunately, it hasn’t grown at the pace we had expected. Sadly, we’ve made the tough decision to shut down the product.
Starting April 20, you’ll be able to download your Helpouts history using Google Takeout (available until November 1, 2015).
We want to thank our community for all their support — both the providers who shared their expertise with the world, and the people who needed some extra help or advice along the way. You’ve had a lot to contribute — and we’ve loved learning alongside you.
Google is shutting down its Google Helpouts service on April 20, 2015
Google’s Helpouts service has not been without its challenges on the monetization front, either. A couple of months ago, Google had to shut down paid Helpouts in the EU thanks to changing tax laws. Today, the website advises providers from the U.K. and Ireland that they may only offer free Helpouts, and EU customers may only take free Helpouts. That’s likely been a blow to the service’s ability to attract providers and consumers in these markets.
the Helpouts mobile applications themselves were far from popular. Although they saw some gains at first launch – probably out of initial curiosity – the highest rank the iOS app ever achieved was #95 in the Lifestyle category on iTunes. The Android version fared only a little better, climbing to #29 on Google Play shortly after its debut. Before being pulled out of the stores, however, both the iOS app and Android version were unrated according to App Annie, meaning they had both fallen below #1,500 on any app store category.