YouTube hosts millions of videos of music videos, amateur science experiments, people giving fashion advice, and of course cute cats… lots and lots of cats. There’s also an awful lot of content that might not be appropriate for younger viewers, which helps explain why Google is launching a new YouTube app aimed at kids.
The Android app launches February 23rd and it’s called YouTube Kids. It’s designed to make it easy for young users to find content, and also to give parents peace of mind since it filters out adult-themed content.
Part of what makes YouTube Kids interesting are the things it lacks. According to a report from USA Today, the user interface is simpler, clean and full of large icons and images: and there are no comments.
Kids can tap the search icon to type in search terms, but they can also search by voice which means that children who may not be able to spell Sesame Street yet can still get their Elmo fix. The app will also reject searches for certain keywords such as “sex.”
The app seems to be targeted at very young kids. I doubt that teens or tweens will respond well to the walled garden which is designed to highlight kid-friendly content. But if you’ve got kids in the right age group for Thomas the Tank Engine and Reading Rainbow, it’s nice to know you’ll be able to hand them your phone or tablet without having them accidentally follow a link to watch Nicky Minaj’s video for Anaconda.