YouTube Kids is a great idea in theory, but over the past year we’ve seen reasons why it’s not a good idea to leave your kids to be entertained by videos picked by an algorithm. Rumours of a hand-curated YouTube Kids app surfaced earlier this month, and now Google and YouTube have announced more controls for parents to restrict what videos and channels their kids are watching, including limiting them to hand-curated content.
There’s three main options that Google and YouTube are introducing for parents, starting with new collections by trusted partners. These new collections from YouTube Kids partners including Sesame Workshop and PBS KIDS will be curated channels and videos on subjects including arts & crafts, music, sports, learning, and more. YouTube says that they will be adding more partners over time, so we may hear more about local Australian content down the track.
YouTube will also allowing parents to individually approve channels and videos for their kids to view. It may be labourious, but with this new feature you’ll be able to lock down what the kids are watching to only what you have pre-approved. This feature will be going live later this year, so watch out for this one.
Finally, improved ‘search-off’ controls. YouTube has said that once implemented, when you turn off search kids will only be limited to channels that have been expressly verified by the YouTube Kids team.