Image Credit: YouTube

YouTube announce they are creating a better viewing experience for those too old for YouTube Kids and too young for regular YouTube.

YouTube has always been designed for over 13s, with some age restricted content for those 18 and over. Launched in 2015, YouTube Kids provided under 13s with a dedicated platform, protecting children’s privacy, parental controls, restricting certain features and improve age restrictions. Aimed at children aged 9-17, YouTube’s latest announcement better fills the middle ground between YouTube Kids and regular YouTube.

Every child reaches different developmental stages at different times, so parents naturally have different rules in terms of the types of content they want their kids seeing. Hoping to appeal to all parents, YouTube’s new announcement gives parents the ability to grant tween and teens, with supervised accounts, access to parts of the main platform.

YouTube are working with parents and experts in areas related to child safety, child development and digital literacy. Parents with supervised Google Accounts will be able to create profiles for children with content settings and limited features. Parents will be able to choose between three different settings:

  • Explore: Videos suited for viewers aged 9+, such as vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content and more.
  • Explore More: More videos for viewers aged 13+, including live streams in the categories listed in Explore.
  • Most of YouTube: Almost all videos except aged-restricted content, aimed at older teens
Giving parents content options on YouTube
Image Credit: YouTube

Unlike YouTube Kids, the interface for tween and teens will be similar to regular YouTube, with some key features disabled on all tiers, such as targeted ads, in-app purchases, leaving comments and uploading videos. YouTube say the may implement some of these features in some form in the future, after working with parents and experts.

Parents will be able to manage watch and search history within their child’s account settings. Google’s Family Link will also allow them to set screen timers. YouTube will be adding new parental controls over time such as blocking content.

Age suitable videos will be determined by user input, machine learning and human review. YouTube know this won’t be perfect, but will evolve the system over time. Of course this update is no replacement for parents being aware of what children are consuming online. YouTube have developed a guide in partnership with National PTA, Parent Zone and Be Internet Awesome to help parents provide a supervised experience to their children.

Early betas will be sent to families with kids under the age of consent to test and provide feedback, so YouTube can expand and improve the experience over time. The beta will be launching in the coming months.

Now available in over 80 countries, YouTube are still improving YouTube Kids, adding new features such as allowing parents to select specific videos and channels from main YouTube to the Kids app.

Image Credit: YouTube