According to YouTube, videos available in the app are determined largely by algorithmic filtering, similar to YouTube more generally. The app will also ask parents on how much access they want to give their child, either by granting them the ability to have the search feature turned on or turning off the feature so that the viewing experience is limited.
Two consumer groups – the Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood – both reported the YouTube Kids app to the US Federal Trade Commission this year, claiming the app provides access to videos inappropriate for children, including ones about sex, alcohol and drug and child abuse, pedophilia, etc. If you may remember back in April, Google launched the Designed for Families program for kid-friendly apps.
YouTube Kids now supports casting, so that videos on the app can now also be watched on the big screen including Chromecast, Apple TV, gaming consoles and smart TVs.
In addition, YouTube Kids will also now begin to offer a customized passcode as opposed to a spelled-out code, with the option accessible through parental controls. The list of new original shows includes HooplaKidz, TuTiTu, SciShow Kids, DreamWorksTV and more.
Google is adding new parental control features to the kid version of the online video site following safety complaints from parents and child advocacy groups.
However, YouTube reminds parents that “no system is ideal”, emphasizing the need for parents to flag videos that they see on the service that would be cause of concern. It has been downloaded more than 8 million times since it rolled out in February. Special playlists curated by experts are now available to be explored including those from Kid President and National Geographic Kids.
“We work to make the videos in YouTube Kids as family-friendly as possible and take feedback very seriously”, said a YouTube spokesperson when the supplement was filed.