We live in a very connected world and that connected world isn’t restricted to adults. Children, more so now then ever before, have access to phones, tablets, laptops and computers on a daily basis. This access is good in many ways, but can be bad in others. A few weeks ago Vine stumbled upon an idea and ran with it, Vine Kids. It is Vine, but it only delivers age appropriate approved content.
“Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids,” says Shimrit Ben-Yair, the project’s group product manager, noting that family-friendly fare is a booming business on YouTube. “(Year over year) we’ve seen 50% growth in viewing time on YouTube, but for our family entertainment channels, it’s more like 200%.”
Google has been working on a similar program for YouTube, Chrome and other products that will all be kid friendly. After a year of work it would appear that YouTube Kids is about ready to make its public debut. The app will be a more streamlined version of YouTube taking away many of the additional functions and features we use to make it simple. For instance, the comments section will be gone and questionable content will be blocked entirely. It will have a built-in blacklist of terms and phrases that would pull inappropriate content from appearing. The redesigned interface will also give voice search actions for those who can’t quite spell and type the ability to search for their favorite shows, characters, educational videos and more. For parents concerned with screen time you will be happy to know that Google is also enabling a time control aspect to let parent limit the time their children can spend watching videos.
The new YouTube Kids is scheduled for availability in the Play Store on February 23rd. It will be free, of course,Â and launch for Android, at least at first.