YouTube Kids is a family friendly app on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The app's purpose is to provide a version of YouTube for younger kids, with parental control features and video filters. In addition to content from YouTube on YouTube Kids, there is featured content made for YouTube Kids such as the shows Hyperlinked, The Kings of Atlantis, and DanTDM Creates a Big Scene.
According to Google, there are many ways to instate parental controls. You can set a timer to limit screen time on the app, turn off the search function so you can only see videos that YouTube kids have overseen, and if you have YouTube Red on your Google Account, you can remove YouTube Red from the YouTube Kids app as well. Another feature in YouTube Kids is its limited ads. In YouTube Kids, before each video, there might be an ad intro followed by an ad. Google says that all their ads on YouTube Kids are family friendly and never include links to websites. In the ad intro, is an animated character that helps children understand what a paid ad is, before a paid ad is played.
If a user sees content on YouTube red that is not family appropriate, they can report the content by flagging it.
Parents can set a 4-Digit pass-code on the app for changing settings, and parental controls.
YouTube Kids is currently available on the LG content store, the Samsung App Store, and all Sony TVs except for the Android TV. While many features are on the YouTube Kids TV app, some features on the YouTube Kids app are not included with the YouTube Kids TV app. These features are:
On the homescreen of the YouTube Kids app, you will find 5 categories. The category Shows, will show shows from kid-friendly YouTube creators. The category Music, will show videos like nursery rhymes, popular music videos for kids, and clips from musicals. The category Learning, will show videos that are tagged with educational content. The category Explore will show content that explores topic the viewer is interested in. The last category, Recommended Videos, will show videos that are recommended based on the viewing history. The category Recommended Videos will only show after the user has watched enough videos for the algorithm to recognize their interests.
The homescreen on the YouTube Kids app can be customized for 3 age groups. Preschool, School age, and All Kids. Choosing an age group will customize the home screen with videos targeted at the appropriate age group. The age group setting does not change the results on search.
If the option to search is not blocked via the Parental Controls, users will be able to search through the videos of YouTube Kids. Users may search using their keyboard, or speech to text. When searching, if the user has been in the app before, the search bar will make recommendations based on previous content watched. The recommendations only show up if you haven't disabled watch & search history in the parental controls.
Some search queries are blocked because of the possibility that the query will bring up vulgar results. If this happens to a search result you search, you will get an error message that says “Try searching for something else!” .
On Android, YouTube Kids works with Android's feature TalkBack, to read content for visually impaired users. You can also use Android's Explore By Touch feature in TalkBack, to read elements you hover over with your finger. On IOS,
Having YouTube red on your Google Account automatically applies YouTube Red's perks to the YouTube Kids app. YouTube Red in the YouTube Kids App gets rid of ads. It also allows for downloading up to 24 videos on the device for offline watching. It can also allow for being able to watch videos while being in other apps, but that feature is automatically disabled.
YouTube Kids shows created especially for YouTube Kids include:
YouTube Kids was filed a complaint from the CCFC and CDD saying that kids cannot see the difference between what is an ad, and what is not an ad. In response to this, YouTube added their ad intros.
YouTube Kids was reported on by Click Orlando, Fox 13, and ABC 10, for having shock vidoes on their platform targeted for kids. Click Orlando said that shock videos pretending to be cartoons in front of parents and YouTube's filters, a few minutes in, shows disturbing content. They warned that when these videos were reported and removed, that creators re-uploaded them in a span of a few hours. There is also a recent research titled KidsTube which validates the fact that child unsafe content does exist on YouTube and that uploaders of unsafe content form close-knit communities with those offering safe content in order to evade detection.
YouTube Kids, on the official World Day of Physical Activity, partnered up with the Gasol Foundation to create the "Make It Healthy, Make It Fun" playlist. The playlist included 20 videos that consisted of cartoons and information on exercises and recipes. The initiative was raised because of rising child obesity rates.
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