Google has revealed their intention to roll out a new YouTube app just for kids, starting next week. It will be aptly named YouTube Kids and is geared towards those 10 years old or younger. Perhaps most interesting for non-children is that the app, at least initially, will be released exclusively on Android.
Image by USA Today
It features a fairly dumbed-down user interface that will leverage Google's voice recognition rather than rely on the spelling abilities of young children. And, of course, it has the huge benefit (for parents) of filtering out inappropriate content, including denying searches that will obviously turn up bad results.
This is no hastily thrown-together project, as we've been hearing murmurs about it for quite a while. Last March, The Information reported on Google's plans for a children-oriented YouTube app. More recently, Google purchased the development company behind children's video-making Toontastic apps. Just a week ago, BuzzFeed spotted a Google survey asking about interest in a Youtube service for kids.
And while the reports to this point have not mentioned it, the survey suggested that there may be a subscription tier of YouTube Kids. The question was whether the respondent would buy a service for $4.99/month that offers ad-free YouTube for children with offline playback and strong parental controls. This is not necessarily proof that they will proceed with a pay-to-play version of this service.
Among the announced features for parents, beyond the obvious limitations on content built into the app, is the ability to restrict the time the app is used. You can have the app prompt for a password after any designated period to cut off the blossoming YouTube addict in the family.
- USA Today