YouTube released updates to its child-focused YouTube Kids service that will allow parents to have more control over the content that their young ones can access. Also, it has added better support for parents to help them manage what their child can access, along with a variety of other features. However, the app was also subjected to criticism, leading to a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission regarding the search feature of YouTube Kids.
Improvements include new ways to watch videos. Explanations about how the app’s systems choose and recommend content as well as on how to flag videos for inappropriate content will be offered.
The service, designed for kids 5 and under, is now available on Apple TV set-tops, Google Chromecast adapters, Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 game consoles and select models of smart TVs.
YouTube says it has made its YouTube Kids app more parent-friendly, including by giving them the option to restrict their kids’ searches.
For parents, you can now customize your passcode for improved parental controls.
And yes, there are now more shows available on YouTube Kids, including original shows and series.
Earlier this year, the Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood accused Google of deceiving parents “by marketing YouTube Kids as a safe place for children under five to explore, when, in reality, the app is rife with videos that would not meet anyone’s definition of “family friendly”. It has been downloaded more than 8 million times since it rolled out in February.
The newest version of YouTube Kids appears to be live on the Google Play store, and should reach your devices in the coming days. YouTube filters these videos though human review, user input and algorithmic filtering, but there are still a few videos that could slip through the cracks and find their way into YouTube Kids.