YouTube Kids Gets Updated With Expanded Controls and Personal Profiles
It was more than a couple of years ago when Google first introduced YouTube Kids, the kid friendly version of its YouTube app. Fast forwarding to 2017, the tech giant is introducing new upgrades to the service, including a tool for setting up personalized profiles for kids, and expanded controls for added security for both parents and their kids.
For those not familiar with the YouTube Kids mobile app, it is basically just YouTube made simpler with a more easy to navigate interface, and with its content filtered to be more appropriate for kids and young audiences. It even comes with curated videos from brands such as National Geographic Kids, Jim Henson TV, DreamWorks TV, Mother Google Club, Talking Tom and Friends, Reading Rainbow, and Thomas The Tank Engine, just to name a few examples. The app is now live in 37 countries across the globe, averages over 11 million active viewers on a weekly basis, and has accumulated over 70 billion views.
It is a delightful concept for sure, but that has not stopped YouTube Kids from taking some flak just a few months before it made its debut. As a matter of fact, the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) had teamed up to write a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, claiming at that time that YouTube Kids was actually still showing some content not appropriate for children.
Thankfully, Google has since made the necessary adjustments, and continues to do so, as evidenced by these latest round of updates. Moms and Dads can now sign in using their Google account in order to set up personalized profiles for their sons and daughters. The personal profiles even change their looks according to the child’s birth date. This should prove handy especially for parents with more than one kid. For younger kids, their profiles will feature more graphics as opposed to text. Older kids will have more content displayed on their home screens by default. Siblings can even set their own pass codes so that they can keep their profiles private from their nosy brother or sister. Of course, parents can always override those codes if necessary.
With regards to the expanded controls, parents now get more options especially in terms of ensuring no potentially harmful content can get through (FYI for moms and dads: YouTube does not manually check every video that gets shown on YouTube Kids), and if ever some questionable content does appear, parents get more options in blocking and reporting those videos.