Google's tentacles grow a helping hand with new service selling expert advice on live video

Google is opening a how-to shop that will sell expert advice on everything from cosmetics to the cosmos in live video sessions streamed on computers and smartphones.

The service, called Helpouts, will begin taking calls for help Tuesday. It will offer connections to more than 1,000 merchants, websites and health care specialists who cleared Google Inc.'s background checks.

For starters, Helpouts is offering to connect people with experts in eight different categories: art and music; computers and electronics; cooking; education and careers; fashion and beauty; fitness and nutrition; health; and home and garden.

The fees will be set by each expert, with 20 percent of the revenue going to Google for most video sessions. For now, the Mountain View, Calif., company isn't collecting a commission for health advice.

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