Helpouts, a less popular version of Google+ Hangouts, will be discontinued as of April 20, 2015. Google+ Helpouts launched in 2013 as a way for people to connect with other experts to learn new things or get advice.
The Helpouts community hasn’t grown at the rate Google had anticipated, which is what led to the decision to shut down the service.
Helpouts will be shut down on April 20, at which time you can download your Helpouts history using Google Takeout.
Those who have chimed in on this announcement all seem to agree that Helpouts was a tremendously useful service, and that it didn’t meet growth expectations because it wasn’t marketed aggressively enough.
Perhaps Google could have used Helpouts for helping users with its own services — as an SEO I can tell you for a fact that there are plenty of people who need help with many things Google-related.
On the other hand, it’s quite probably that Google+ Hangouts cannibalized the Helpouts service. The type of service that Google aimed to provide with Helpouts is being fulfilled via Hangouts, such as the webmaster chats hosted by Google’s own John Mueller.
Google is no stranger to launching services that do not meet expectations (Wave, Authorship, Glass, etc.). If history is any indication, the company will use this as a learning experience to refine the products that do have a strong user base.
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