Even with controls in place, YouTube Kids has faced scrutiny in the past for creepy and disturbing content making it through their filters. As a result, the company has updated the app to improve parental control over the content their kids get to see.
With the new update, Android users can handpick each video that their children are allowed to watch. Parents simply need to switch the settings on each child’s profile to “approved content only.” The update will also be available for iOS users soon.
The update also allows parents to include playlists from kid-friendly channels such as PBS Kids and Sesame Street, and disable the search feature.
Another option with the new update is a choice between “older” and “younger” content, targeted for kids ages eight to twelve versus preschool to eight years old. The older setting unlocks content such as music videos and video game related videos that might not be of interest to younger kids.
Product Director for YouTube, James Beser, stated:
We work hard to make videos in the app family friendly, but no system is perfect. It’s always possible that a parent may find something they don’t want their child to watch in the “Younger” or “Older” experiences. If this happens, we ask that parents block and flag the video for review by our team. This makes YouTube Kids better for everyone.
As we continue to receive feedback from parents and turn that feedback into improvements to the YouTube Kids app, we hope that all families and kids can create the experience they want!
The update is a step in the right direction for YouTube. It demonstrates that they care about kids and are listening to the voices of concerned parents – two things that all brands should be doing.