YouTube has evolved significantly from its early days filled with viral cat videos and staged pranks. However, cat videos still have their place for animal lovers. Nowadays, the platform offers a diverse range of content, from live TV to kid-centric videos. Some of the most popular channels cater specifically to young audiences, featuring animated adventures and toy unboxings. In 2015, YouTube introduced the YouTube Kids app, a version tailored for children, with features and content designed to be age-appropriate.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the workings of the YouTube Kids app, the available content, its safety for children, and tools for parents to monitor online activities and implement parental controls.

Understanding the YouTube Kids App

YouTube Kids is a carefully curated version of the regular YouTube app, emphasizing safety for younger viewers through reduced features and content filtering. Initiating YouTube Kids is straightforward—simply download the app, complete the account registration (no Google or Gmail account required for users), and let parents customize settings during setup.

Safety Measures in the YouTube Kids App

Ensuring online safety for children is a nuanced challenge. While user reviews offer a baseline, the app has garnered positive feedback for its controls. Key safety aspects include limited interactions with other users; the absence of comments or messaging within the YouTube Kids app maintains a secure environment.

Content and Accessibility

The YouTube Kids app features six main content categories on its homepage: Explore, Music, Learning, Shows, Gaming, and Shared. While content review processes are mostly automated, YouTube empowers parents with controls, such as the ability to disable the search function. This ensures that children access only “verified” content, creating a safer environment.

Information Exposure

YouTube Kids enforces strict controls to prevent information exposure. Every avenue for sharing personal information is disabled within the app.

Advertising on YouTube Kids

Being ad-supported, YouTube Kids relies on ads to sustain the platform. The app distinguishes kid-focused videos from others, limiting advertisers from directing users to external websites. YouTube claims a rigorous review process for ads, but the effectiveness of user flagging for inappropriate content remains unclear.

Age Suitability

While the YouTube Kids app doesn’t specify age requirements, it’s generally suitable for children under 13. The introduction of “supervised accounts” in 2021 facilitates a transition from the protected YouTube Kids experience to a filtered version of the regular platform for older children.

Supervised Accounts and Beyond

Supervised accounts allow parents to expand the age range of accessible content in the app. These accounts restrict certain features found in the regular YouTube app, ensuring a controlled experience for kids.