Update, February 23
Google just officially announced YouTube Kids, now available in the Play Store and on iOS. The app features a kid-friendly design, with four main hubs: Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore. A set of parental controls gives adults control over what content and how much of it the little ones can access. More about the new YouTube Kids on the official YouTube blog.
Original post, February 20
YouTube Kids, a new app designed especially for the little ones, is reportedly coming next week.
Let’s face it – for many kids these days, tablets have replaced TV, toys, or that old-fashioned concept of “playing outside” as their favorite pastime. Whether that’s good or bad is up to every parent to decide, but tech companies are more than eager to capitalize on this trend. Enter a variety of kid-centric tablets (Fire HD Kids Edition, Samsung Tab 3 Kids, Fuhu Nabi, etc.) and now this new app geared towards YouTube’s youngest users.
USA Today reports that the app, expected to launch February 23, features a simple, kid-friendly interface, stripped of non-essentials like comments. The main interface will consist of eight thumbnails showcasing popular content, as well as shortcuts to video, radio, educational, and exploration sections. Parental controls such as password-protection, timed use, and search filters are all available.
“Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids,” the project’s product manager told USA Today, noting that family-oriented content is growing four times faster than YouTube’s overall view growth.
At least initially, YouTube Kids will only be available for Android devices. Stay tuned for an official announcement on Monday.