YouTube have launched an app designed for children following concerns about the safety of kids online. YouTube Kids comes with various features designed to keep children safe including parental controls and restrictions about uploads. The service has been made available in the US and will be launched in other countries soon.
The parental controls allow parents to limit the amount of time children can spend watching videos and to turn the search function off. Playlists and channels are divided into four different categories: Show, Music, Learning and Explore. The app is free but is currently only available on Google Android devices.
Content providers for the new service will include DreamWorks TV, Jim Henson and Mother Goose Club. Product manager at YouTube Kids, product manager Shimrit Ben-Yair, said: “Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids. We’ve seen 50% growth year over year in viewing time on YouTube, but for our family entertainment channels, it’s more like 200%.”
YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees before it was bought by Google in 2006. The service has regularly come under fire for not doing more to protect children from inappropriate material.