YouTube for Kids app is coming on February 23rd, which will strip away video comments, provide safe search with limited capabilities and even allow parents to control the app usability.
YouTube for Kids wants to be what other video sites have tried to do to this point such as Vine. They want to cash in on the exclusive and allusive children market – whose parents would like to spare their children the harsh content that is oftentimes on YouTube. Google has created an app that will be exclusively available for Android to start, and will be exclusively geared toward children. The idea will be that the video service will have original content for children, and will work out exclusive deals with some of the significant players within YouTube to create content that will work for their new market.
Children have been amongst the top users of YouTube, so this move isn’t one that’s entirely surprising. Interestingly, the YouTube for Kids app will remove the comments section, place harsh restrictions on what kind of content is permitted. The app was developed with organizations like Common Sense Media in mind, who work largely to remove the content that ultimately becomes damaging to young individuals who are looking for a safe and productive place to see video content.
That being said, the app will only launch on Android devices on the 23rd of this month. While the app has been in the works for months now, Shimrit Ben-Yair of YouTube’s product management team, pointed out “Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids?” Now, Google has listened, and Ben-Yair went on to point out that family-friendly content isn’t just alive and well within the Google community – but is a booming business, as well.
While there are legal challenges to launching an app like this, which opens YouTube up to FCC regulation due to the “for kids” nature of this app Google appears to have handled all of the challenges that might be coming toward them. However, one questionable move is the fact that Google hasn’t addressed the fact that they will not have an iOS version of this app available initially. That either translates to uncertainty or a lack of foresight in terms of the user-base they would ultimately be missing out on.