Google is launching a new service that allows consumers to pay for live video chats with experts who can provide them with all types of information. After reading this article : When ‘Googling it’ isn’t enough: Search engine offers video chats with human experts , I started to think about the pros and cons of this new service. I think that this would be somewhat similar to youtube, since many people view “how-to” videos and informational videos on youtube. I guess there is a difference in that for the google service, the consumer would be paying to talk to a professional, whereas on youtube, the viewer isn’t guaranteed to view a professional, and nor is he/she able to ask personal questions that he/she may have about the video.
I think that this service does have a lot of potential. I think it may get the ball rolling on virtual medicine, which is also a big deal. What I mean by virtual medicine, is a doctors appointment over video chat to minimize access issues along with to make the patient less uncomfortable. Obviously not everything can be done via video chat, however I feel that video chat is a way better option than just emailing or texting. At least with video chat- you are conversing with another person. It is similar to real life in that you are visible, and not hiding behind a screen. I know that some people would probably find this whole thing bizarre and unnecessary, but I do think it has very good potential to be useful and beneficial.
I personally am always viewing “how -to” videos on youtube, and sometimes I do have questions that I would love to be able to ask the provider, but since it is just a recording, there is no conversing, and I am unable to ask my questions. With a video chat, it is even easier to understand because you can ask all the questions you have and they would be answered by the professional.
The only reservation that I do have with this new service, is that I am uncertain about the amount of consumers who will be willing to pay for a service like this. I know that as a poor college student, I am on a strict budget and I would most likely be unable to afford something like this no matter what the price. I would save the money and watch as many free youtube videos as I need to in order to answer the questions that I have about whatever it is I am viewing. I could be entirely wrong and maybe this type of service will be very profitable and high in demand, however right now I am not so sure about that.
Overall, I do think that this new service has a lot of potential and may become “the next big thing” for people in today’s society, especially those in the generations that are so technologically inclined!