On Friday, February 13, the software giant Google declared that it will shut down its Google Helpouts service on April 20 this year. Post this date, users will not be able to give or take a Helpout. Unfortunately, many people were not even aware that the service existed.
Google Helpouts was launched in 2013. The video tutorial service allowed users to participate in one-on-one sessions for advice and lessons on a variety of topics through webcam. Users could get help whenever they want from experts such as doctors, personal trainers, teachers, home repair specialists and counselors. By having a look at reviews, availability, qualification and ratings, users can decide who to get help from.
Some tutorials were available for free, while some required nominal payment. So what made Google decide to end the service? Google Helpouts did not grow as anticipated, Google explained in a support document. The company further said that users will be able to download their Helpouts history with the help of Google Takeout from April 20. Users can download the data until November 1 this year. After that date, Google will delete all Helpouts history.
If users need assistance with their Helpouts account, they can email the Helpouts support team. Google also thanked the Helpouts community for their support.
Google’s move will disappoint people, such as online mentors, who depended completely on the service for their livelihood.
In the video tutorial space, Helpouts service faces some serious competition in the form of YouTube. People get help from YouTube video tutorials without spending a single penny.
Similarly, Amazon’s Mayday feature on the Kindle Fire tablets lets users have an online chat with customer service agents. Amazon said that the service is available for 24 hours a day and is free. The e-commerce company wants to respond to customers as quickly as possible.
Strangely, the google focus on “responsive websites,” pushing and even punishing webmasters whose sites do not work well with mobile devices, did not apply to google’s own Helpouts service.