Millions of parents and children use the YouTube Kids app, and per a recent blog post by the company, parents will soon be able to rest easier each time they leave their kids alone with a screen. YouTube Kids is now giving parents way more control over what their children watch on the platform with two new updates to their app.
The first big update actually came earlier this year when YouTube announced that parent-approved content would soon be a reality. This means that Android users will soon be able to handpick every video and playlist that their child is able to view using the YouTube Kids app. The next big update is age settings. For kids who are bit older, but not quite old enough for the real deal YouTube, parents can select the “older” setting which will make even more age-appropriate content available to them.
Parent-approved content will only be on option on Android at first, but an iOS version isn’t far behind. Now all parents need to do is click or tap on “approved content only,” and not only will only that content pop up, but the search function will be turned off entirely. What’s also pretty great about this is that certain trusted playlists are non-algorithmic, which means that other humans are picking what goes on them rather than allowing a computer to select for you.
YouTube has caught heat for its kid’s app in the past and this could be seen as a way to rectify some of that. YouTube Kids was the target of criticism after it was discovered that hundreds of their kid-friendly channels had been packed with videos of kids and children’s characters in disturbing situations. The #ElsaGate Scandal saw adult videos with themes of around violence, sexual situations, or toilet humor being posted to YouTube with kid-friendly captions and thumbnails. Still, YouTube wrote in the blog post that “no system is perfect” and still wants parents to be proactive and shout out harmful content.