Google to shut down Helpouts on April 20

The Internet giant says its video tutorial service isn't growing fast enough.

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Google says its video tutorial service wasn't growing fast enough. Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

Google announced Friday it is shuttering Helpouts because the 1-year old video tutorial service isn't growing as fast as the company wants.

"The Helpouts community includes some engaged and loyal contributors, but unfortunately, it hasn't grown at the pace we had expected," reads a blog post about the shutdown.

Google launched Helpouts in November 2013 as a way for people with expertise to market their services through instructional videos that offered one-on-one help for viewers. Essentially a video chat between two parties, some tutorial sessions were free and some were paid. Sessions included guitar lessons, counseling, medical advice and cooking lessons.

Consumers will no longer be able to take a Helpout after April 19. On April 20, users can download their Helpouts history using Google Takeout. This download option will be available until November 1.

The Internet giant was trying to capture a slice of the video tutorial marketplace. While the Google name may have lent some legitimacy to the content, the company was up against a slew of free tutorial videos available on its own video-sharing site YouTube. Google wasn't the only company experimenting with one-on-one video services. Amazon in September launched Mayday, a tech support feature for Kindles that connects a user to a customer service representative. The e-commerce giant has had more luck with the feature -- which lets users ask for any kind of technical help, including ordering a pizza online -- and often boasting about its customer reviews of the experience.

Google created a similar experience for Samsung's Chromebook 2, which launched with a tech support service powered by Google Hangouts, which is also the technology behind the Helpouts service.

Correction, 5 p.m. PT:This story initially misstated the service that powers the Chromebook 2. It is Google Hangouts.

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