After news yesterday that Amazon is launching an Echo Dot Kids Edition and bringing its child-friendly subscription service FreeTime to Alexa, it's Google's now turn for a family-oriented announcement. YouTube Kids has been around for 3 years, and one of the main complaints about it is that it sometimes lets inappropriate content slip through. Google is going to introduce new measures in the coming months to combat this.
Since an algorithm dictates which content is allowed on the app, it's bound to make mistakes sometimes. We learned earlier this month that Google was working on curated content before seeing further evidence in a recent teardown of the app — and that's the first part of today's announcement. The YouTube Kids team will work with trusted partners like Sesame Workshop and PBS Kids to provide collections and channels with assuredly safe videos. As time goes by, more partners will be brought on board.
For parents who want to be even more involved with what their kids are watching, another new feature will allow them to choose every channel and video that's accessible in the app. Turning off search in the app leads children to recommendations instead, and until now those have been from the entire YouTube Kids selection. In future, these recommendations will only come from channels approved by the YT Kids team, adding an extra layer of assurance for parents.
All of the new features will be optional, and Google has said they will all be available sometime between now and the end of the year.