By Chad SapiehaApr 25, 2018
YouTube's popular YouTube Kids app, which is used by more than 11 million families every week and has hosted over 70 billion video views since launching almost three years ago, is launching three key new features this year that will provide parents with even more control in curating what their kids can and can't access.
"We're offering parents even more options to make the right choice for their family and for each child within their family," said Malik Ducard, YouTube's global head of family and learning content, in a press release.
Two of the new features will arrive in an update later this week. The first is collections of videos created by YouTube Kids and its most trusted partners, such as Sesame Workshop. Spanning subjects that include learning, sports, arts and crafts, and more, the content in these channel collections is designed to be appropriate for their target audiences.
The second feature to launch this week is an improved "search-off" control that will result in an even more contained viewing experience. In the past, turning off the ability to search videos would keep kids from conducting open searches, but the videos to which they had continued access within the app wasn't necessarily verified by human eyes. Now, when search is switched off, kids will only be able to find videos that have been reviewed by members of the YouTube Kids team, which works 24/7 to verify videos appropriate for kids and block those that don't meet their standards.
The final feature, set to arrive sometime later this year, will allow parents to personally handpick channels and videos for each individual kids profile they create. It's based on the notion that there is no common denominator in how moms and dads parent their children, and that kids in different households and of varying ages have specific content needs.
"At YouTube Kids we believe every family is unique so we’ve worked hard to build personalization features into our platform," said James Beser, YouTube Kids product director. "Kids love the recommended videos in the app, and parents have told us they are also interested in more ways to personalize the app for their specific style. We're putting parents in the driver's seat like never before."
The new features join an existing set of parent controls within the YouTube Kids app, including the ability to set timers, track their kids' viewing history, and choose whether they can cast videos to other devices.
Parents can download the YouTube Kids app for iOS and Android phones and tablets, as well as certain smart televisions.