Home >> News >> Google to shut down Helpouts, the expert video chat service, on April 20

Google to shut down Helpouts, the expert video chat service, on April 20

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced that its Helpouts video service will be shut down on April 20. The company had partnered with Ambarella for developing wearable cameras that could be used by experts and the plans has been dropped.google-helpouts

Launched in 2013, the service was aimed at connecting people and experts on various topics like health, home improvement, science and others. It allowed for real-time interaction and was a community better than community forums. Current users will be able to download their history of service via Takeout till November 5.

Google stated it had to take the tough decision to shut down the service as it was not growing at the pace as expected. Users had been notified through emails and can continue to use the service for two months. Google had stopped accepting invitations from new applicants as the community is set to disappear.

Users were quite excited when the service was made available and was used for projects as well. The one-on-one video service included free and paid sessions. The company notifies in detail regarding the shutdown in its FAQ for complete information. The company thanked its providers for expertise through the service and the users.

With this move, the company makes a disappearance from the tutorial market and faced challenges from its own YouTube service which had many free tutorial videos. While Google is shutting down the service, Amazon’s Mayday based on connecting a user and customer representative is a hit among users with highest satisfaction ratings.

Google had introduced a feature supported by Helpouts in Samsung Chromebook 2 though it remains unclear if the service will be shut down. With the ending of the service, users are likely to shift to other  tutorial websites like Udemy which also offers free and paid tutorials on a wide range of topics.

Google posted the following explanation on its support site and issued the same statement to users via email:

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.

About Anirudh Madhav

A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh


  1. This was destined to fail. Any so-called-expert or helper having the expertise to provide people help was either: A) Retired or B) Someone who 'thinks' they were an expert. Anyone Google Helper who might truly be an expert in his or her field or specialty would be too busy going their own business.

  2. Agree with Rick's comments although there are exceptions where Helpouts would work, with tuition for instance, although with so much available free of charge perhaps the aspiring guitar player turns to You Tube. In terms of actual experts there is a strong economic productivity argument for video based consultation (time spent travelling, customer reach, time zone advantages). It already works well in healthcare in the US, addressing the issue you cited. We designed http://www.vexbook.com with the true experts and professionals in mind, rather than the guitar teacher. Although none of our experts are retired we certainly would not see that as a disadvantage, the deeper the knowledge, the better. Plus larger pension.

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