YouTube Kids now has a separate website, as reported by TechCrunch. YouTube quietly made the announcement on August 29 with the following message:
We built YouTube Kids to create a safer environment for kids to explore their interests and curiosity, while giving parents the tools to customize the experience for their kids. We continue to improve the app based on feedback from parents and experts, and have two updates to share today!
When visiting the website, you’ll find a message from YouTube instructing a parent to unlock the site by answering a quick math problem. A notice to parents explains how the site collects information, what is done with that information, and how parents can control what their kids watch on the site. (This notice, requiring a parent to click “agree” before getting to the site, is likely a response to an FTC investigation about YouTube collecting information about kids violating privacy laws.)
Content on YouTube Kids is divided into three sections
- Preschool (ages 4 & under) is designed to allow kids to watch videos that promote creativity, playfulness, learning, & exploration.
- Younger (ages 5-7) is designed to allow kids to explore their interests and search for a wide variety of topics, including songs, cartoons, crafts, & more.
- Older (ages 8-12) is designed to allow kids with growing independence to search & explore additional music videos, gaming, family vlogs, science, and more.
The creation of the separate website will hopefully cut down on kids being exposed to age inappropriate content. For example, there are many videos on YouTube that include characters from popular kids’ cartoons engaging in violent activities. These videos show up in search results and, while YouTube has been working on adding age restrictions, they aren’t always included.
The new website has a similar setup to the current YouTube kids mobile app. With only kid friendly content, and parental controls in place, parents can trust the website to only show content they’re comfortable with.