YouTube kids, the kid-friendly, a lot of filtered version of YouTube 1st introduced in 2015, is getting a notable upgrade. The updated app is adding many new features designed to reflect the app’s currently aging user base, including profiles that are customized based on the kid’s date of birth, as well as extra security controls for parents and kids.
While YouTube kids came under fire within the past for not fully locking down the YouTube experience, overall, it’s a safer way to allow kids to browse YouTube compared with giving them access to the main app.
The Kids app is designed with a simpler interface, fun music and curated selections of kid-appropriate content from publishers like DreamWorks TV, jim henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends, National Geographic kids, Reading Rainbow and Thomas the tank engine, among others.
In response to earlier complaints, parents were later allowed to toggle off the app’s search capabilities and set their own private passcode, rather than using the default setting, that spells out numbers as words for parents to enter.
In the new release, parents can currently sign in with their Google account in order to make customizable profiles for their kid or children.
Based on the kid’s age, YouTube kids can change the way it looks. this can be helpful not only for parents with multiple kids, but also because YouTube kids itself, by default, appeared like an app that was designed a lot of so for preschoolers than the school-age crowd.
With the new profiles, younger children can see an app that uses less text while older kids will have more content on their homescreens, says YouTube.
Plus, kids with brothers or sisters can choose to set their own passcode to keep the others out of their own account. (Parents, of course, will override this if need be.)
The app also introduces a new setup process for parents that includes more detailed info to assist them create the proper selections related to the parental control options, as well as be more informed concerning the app generally.
For example, a longer intro explains to parents that YouTube doesn’t manually review the videos in YouTube kids — which means there’s still an opportunity that something inappropriate could get through its automatic filters. And it details how to block and report the videos that slip through.
“Remember our systems work hard to filter out a lot of mature content from the app. but no system is perfect,” writes Balaji Srinivasan, the YouTube kids engineering director, in today’s blog post announcing the upgraded app.
In other words, YouTube kids is definitely saying that it’s not going to devote extra employees to create YouTube kids 100% safe. It’s just aiming for “good enough.”
A final setup screen offers a longer explanation as to why parents might want to turn search on or off, allowing parents to better understand the risk associated with that decision.
YouTube says it’s currently working on a way to allow parents to add more content to the app, but doesn’t go into detail. It’s also looking into building out the experience for tweens, with a focus on the categories that most appeal to that somewhat older demographic.
Though YouTube kids might not be perfect, it’s proven to be popular. The app is currently live in thirty seven countries, has over eleven million weekly active viewers and has seen more than seventy billion views within the app. (The new kid profiles, however, are only available in select markets for currently. the total list is here.)