Helpouts was a service that connected users to experts in various fields, such as Beauty, Cooking, Health, Art, Legal, and many more. It used the Google Hangouts app to provide people with both free and paid video-chat consultations.
Some professionals offered their services with the idea of landing paid sessions in the future, and Google, on their part, profited 20% of the paid tutorials’ fees.
The service shut down on April 20, 2015, and Google allowed users to download their content until November 1. The reason they provided was that the app hadn’t grown at the rate they had expected - which isn’t much of a surprise considering the competition it had to face.
The market already had similar services like Quora and Yahoo Answers. Even Google’s own YouTube was a rival for users’ interest. Despite not having the live-chat option, it was free for users, easy to navigate, and quick to provide all sorts of information, and it also offered creators extra income through paid advertising.
Helpouts never really got overly popular – not even upon its release for Android. By the time it was pulled out of the App Store and Google Play, it had fallen below the #1,500 rating on any app category.
The final nail in the coffin was the tax law the EU introduced in January 2015. It forced consultants to offer only free sessions, and consumers were allowed to partake only in free consultations. These limitations practically cost Google the European market.