Google Helpouts to be consigned to history
Google is shutting the door on its Helpouts service. Just two and a half years after launching the help and support extension to Hangouts, it has been decided that there just is not enough interest to warrant keeping it running.
Designed as a platform for experts to offer their paid service to people, Helpouts failed to gain the traction needed to make it viable. The shutdown will not take immediate effect, but there's quite a short deadline for users to seek out an alternative.
There are a little over two months until Helpouts is shuttered on 20 April; users are encouraged to download their historical data through Google takeout. The Android app for Helpouts has already been removed from Google Play, although anyone who already has the app installed can continue to use it for the time being.
The closure was announced in a post on the Google Helpouts support pages:
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).
Payments will still be made to those who have earned money through the service, but Helpouts will completely disappear after 20 April -- the site will not be retained for reference. Google says that the service "hasn't grown at the pace we had expected", but there will still be a number of people disappointed at news of the closure.