Google invites users to share their expertise over video Helpouts

Word broke in late July that Google might launch Helpouts -- a Hangout-based video platform where folks could charge for lending assistance over video -- in about a month's time. Like clockwork, Mountain View's officially announced the platform, but it isn't a free-for-all just yet. Page and Co. are inviting people with expertise in different topics to offer their services when the solution opens for business. The search giant has published a form allowing self-proclaimed experts to toss their hat in the ring for an invite, and lists categories including Arts and Music, Computers and Electronics, Cooking, Education, Fashion and Beauty, Fitness and Nutrition, Health and Counseling along with Home and Garden. Fittingly, Google's own help documents for Helpouts have gone live as well, and they give us a few more details.

First, users will have to submit a listing for their services, which Google will review just before hanging out with them over video to get acquainted and ensure their live feed is in tip-top shape. If you're a medical professional, you can offer your expert opinion to the masses as well, but Mountain View will confirm you've got the proper certificates and licenses in order. Once that's done, interested customers will be able to check a pro's availability and schedule appointments. Folks can offer their skills for free or charge for sessions, but both parties must use Google Wallet for the transaction, and Google will apply a 20 percent fee (yes, even with credit card payments). A launch date for Helpouts is MIA, but you can sign up to be notified and provide a helping hand at the source.