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Many children today spend a significant amount of time on YouTube but unfortunately, many videos are not age-appropriate. To satisfy children’s curiosity and enhance education, Google announced that it will be launching a kid-friendly version of YouTube.
The goal of this application is to bring content that is more age appropriate to children via mobile devices. For Android devices, the application can be downloaded beginning on February 23. Although chances are good the application will also become available for iOS, at this time there is not information regarding availability.
The application is called YouTube Kids and will feature original content from the Mother Goose Club, Jim Henson TV, National Geographic Kids, Thomas the Tank Engine, Talking Tom and Friends, DreamWorks TV, Reading Rainbow, and more.
As stated by LeVar Burton with Reading Rainbow, providing children with a safe environment that will spark curiosity and be entertaining is exciting. Instead of watching videos considered inappropriate, YouTube Kids will make it possible for children to browse playlists and channels in four specific categories to include Music, Shows, Explore, and Learning.
It has also been reported that new content for children will come from Stampylonghead and Vlogbrothers sometime soon. Michelle Sullivan, Vice President of Digital with National Geographic Kids said the goal is for children of all ages, as well as adults, to enjoy the playlists and spend time exploring new things.
At next Monday’s Kidscreen Summit, Malik Ducard, executive with YouTube, will talk about the project in great detail. As part of the application there will be parental controls, allowing parents to limit the amount of time the YouTubes Kids service is used.
Of course, Google will be required to comply with all Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules, one that mandates websites to get parental consent prior to collecting information on children 13 and younger. In 2014, $19 million was refunded by Google for in-app purchases made by children using Android devices so complying will be critical to the application’s success.
In the meantime, Vine, which is owned by Twitter, released Vine Kids last month. This application is similar in that it provides a wealth of age-appropriate animated videos. With this application, children can watch a new Vine simply by swiping the device to the left or right. To hear sounds, the screen of the device is tapped.