As previously reported, Google Helpouts is a service that allows people to help people using video conferencing. What a great idea! People who had a little extra time on their hands could spend it helping other people, whether that was helping people understand WordPress or helping with breastfeeding. Nearly every topic under the sun seemed to be offered, and it was working.
Well today Google announced they would be shutting down Google Helpouts. Why? Were they unable to monetize Google Helpouts?
I understand every business needs to make money; however, I disagree with Google's approach here! Getting people excited and involved in a service only to shut it down less than 2 years later is just wrong.
Everyone knows that Google loves to experiment with new ideas and very often will stick their "beta" label on their services for years, like that gives them the right to discontinue their service at any time. How are consumers and businesses to know which services are going to stick around and which ones will be discontinued whenever Google feels like it?
I think Google needs to think long and hard about the services they provide to the public. If they can't commit to a new service say, for at least 5 years, maybe they shouldn't provide it at all.