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Google Helpouts to be phased out in April

tech reviews Updated: Feb 16, 2015 17:11 IST

The platform that allowed experts to offer advice, training and classes via video calling is the latest to get the axe.

On April 20, web users will no longer be able to sign up for a medical consultation, guitar lessons or in-depth advice about a range of subjects, but the experts that have been offering their services, for a fee, via the platform will at least be able to preserve their videos and other content used in Helpouts.

Announcing the closure of the service in a statement, Google said that it had been a tough decision. "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 problems. The Helpouts community includes some engaged and loyal contributors, but unfortunately, it hasn't grown at the pace we had expected."

Helpouts worked by connecting experts with consumers over Google's messaging and video calling app, Hangouts; and although Helpouts, like so many Google services before it, will soon be no more, the concept itself could well live on.

Earlier this month, Google confirmed that it had been testing a ‘virtual' genius bar feature, connecting smartphone and tablet owners with tech experts via a live video chat.

Sources suggest that the company has huge plans for the feature which would see it come to other websites and even into physical retail stores so that consumers could ask a Google expert questions before deciding on which device to buy or about potential fixes for a handset that was technologically misbehaving.