I’ve been begging for this app since my kids picked up their first tablets –people of all ages seem to love YouTube, but until now it really wasn’t safe for little ones to watch without strict supervision. It’s true that you could mark a video as having adult content, but that is based on user judgement (my 6 year old daughter loves watching videos about makeup and hairstyles, which quickly led to ‘related videos’ that included extreme body piercing and modifications… not something she should be watching just yet). Thankfully, it appears that Google heard our cries and is launching a child-friendly version of their video service next Monday.
As you would expect, the content in the kids app will be carefully moderated and curated using dedicated playlists and channels (with initial videos provided by partners like Jim Henson TV, DreamWorks, National Geographic, and a selection of popular YouTubers). Other features of the app will get parents equally excited, including a timer that can limit the amount of time spent during each viewing session and a toggle for muting/un-muting video sounds.
The good news is that the initial release will be for Android users. To balance that, the bad news is that it will only be available in the U.S. for now.