The Internet has become the go-to place for health and fitness info, but when it comes to those urgent, “Am I doing this right?” questions, it can pay to have a live coach. Search behemoth Google is hoping we’ll shell out for advice with a new instruction service called Helpouts, where users can pay live experts for video-chat help on everything from cooking a Thanksgiving turkey to checking push-up form.

Instructors around the globe set prices ahead of time — charging by the minute, hour, or task — and users pay through their Google+ accounts. Instructors also set a range of times they’ll be available to talk to users as requests occur in real time. Afterward, users can rate their experiences to let others know how an instructor stacked up. For now, the company is taking expert applications on a case-by-case basis, but with hundreds of instructors, trainers, and dieticians already offering services through the platform, Helpouts could become a go-to resource for health and fitness advice on the fly.

Google launched the service online and via an Android app on November 5th, and it currently has around 1,000 instructors across eight categories. Three of those categories — “Health,” “Fitness and Nutrition,” and “Cooking” — fall squarely in the health and fitness space. It remains to be seen if Helpouts will be able to attract folks from existing platforms for health and fitness instructional videos, but we doubt Google is too worried about competition. After all, they already own YouTube.

Got something to say? Share in the comments below or get in touch with the author on Twitter @d_tao!

Photo: Google Helpouts

34U34 Activism Promo