YouTube is a video sharing website which publishes content for people of all ages - material which can some times be suggestively explicit, hence unsuitable for viewership by minors. In an effort to solve this acute problem, the Google-owned subsidiary is launching an Android app exclusively for children next week.
The new application is named 'YouTube Kids', a demo of the home screen of the app revealed eight large tiles showcasing children-friendly programs and channels such as Sesame Street and DreamWorks TV. There are five controls on the top of the simple interface which include:
- Shows: For children friendly-shows.
- Radio: For performances of popular songs.
- Light bulb: For educational programming and shows such as Khan Academy.
- Binoculars: While searching for trending videos.
- Search: To manually search for videos.
There will also be various restrictions imposed on the application ensuring that a child isn't surfing age-inappropriate videos through the app. The functionality of the 'search' feature will be restricted, for example if someone types 'sex', a screen will pop up requesting the user to 'Try something else'. Parents can also impose a time restriction and a password on the app; the app's settings can be modified so it automatically closes after a set period of time, when this happens, a password will be required to open the app again.
About the simple user interface, Shimrit Ben-Yair, the project's group product manager says:
The images are big as are the tap targets for small fingers, and since most younger children can't type they can search with voice.
Ben-Yair also explained how the demand for family entertainment channels is drastically increasing, noting that:
Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids, (year over year) we've seen 50% growth in viewing time on YouTube, but for our family entertainment channels, it's more like 200%.
The app is slated for a February 23 release and will be available for Android devices only initially.
Source and Image: USA Today