Google subsidiary YouTube is changing how kids can watch videos by launching a separate website just for kids this week. In a blog post, the video streaming giant announced that it’s releasing an official YouTube Kids website. Before, the YouTube Kids platform was only available via a mobile app.
In a statement on its website, Google said, “We built YouTube Kids to create a safer environment for kids to explore their interests and curiosity while giving parents the tools to customize the experience for their kids. We continue to improve the app based on feedback from parents and experts, and have two updates to share today!”
The new YouTube Kids website will have three new age-related genres that filter content into three age categories: Preschool, Younger (ages 5-7), and Older (ages 8-12). According to the statement, the pre-school group will have videos that feature content that allows kids to “explore their interests” and “promote creativity.” The “Younger” and “Older” categories will have videos designed to help kids “explore music videos, gaming and family vlogs.” Parents can also manually control which content is age-appropriate for their children by choosing Approved Content Only.
The move comes after concerns were voiced over how YouTube manages its child-friendly content and the collecting of children’s data for targeted ads. In 2018, child advocacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Google was violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Google reportedly reached a multimillion-dollar settlement over the case in July, but the terms of the settlement have not yet been publicly released.
The company warned in its blog post that this is not a perfect solution and that vigilance by parents is still needed. The post read: “Our systems work hard to exclude content not suitable for each of these age categories, but not all videos have been manually reviewed. If you find something inappropriate that we missed, you can block it or flag it for fast review.”