YouTube Kids, the kids’ friendly version of YouTube is now available on big screen for the very first time with educational yet entertaining content.
YouTube Kids application, as the name suggests is a filtered version of YouTube which is customized for children and the good news is that it is going to be available on the big screen for the very first time.
The announcement was made by the Google today. It was a mobile-only app previously but now it is going to be offered on a wide range of smart TVs included among them are big smart TV brands like Sony, Samsung and LG which are making it super easy for the families with small kids to have the access of the app service without even using the app’s built-in feature of “casting”.
If we talk about specific brands smart TV brands then the following TVs will offer this amazing feature of YouTube Kids app:
- LG web OS TVs (2015-17) via LG content store
- Samsung Smart TVs and Blue-ray players (2013-17) via Samsung App store
- Yet to be launched Sony TVs with exception of Android TV (2016-17)
The idea of YouTube Kids is to offer a window platform which is customized keeping children in mind with more appropriate, educational yet entertaining content on the largest video sharing website- YouTube without exposing children to more matured fare of the site. Google is also offering app’s traction update on YouTube Kids with the consideration that the app has more than 8 million weekly active users and has more than 30 billion views streamed.
It is interesting to note that the content of YouTube Kids’ is filtered by algorithms which make it very different from the kids’ categories on streaming services like Amazon or Netflix. It does have a risk of sometimes getting wrong like any other technology implementation without human supervision but it provides possible solutions to such situations as well. Parents have an option to flag the videos which they think are inappropriate to send an alert signal to the company for removing the content. Additionally, for the very same reason, if parents are choosing to turn on the search feature of the app, they might unknowingly expose their children to some inappropriate content
YouTube Kids was earlier thrashed by the consumer watchdog groups for promoting product commercials and company-produced promotional videos. They complain to the FTC that YouTube Kids is full of videos that are like TV commercials but without disclosure.
The app has been surrounding with many controversies due to the filter failure. The BBC reported in march that YouTube hosts many videos that look like kids cartoons or popular kids drama but are adult videos having inappropriate content for kids. YouTube Kids tried to filter out all such videos but it is difficult to completely get rid of it because of its dependence on automation option.
YouTube has specified its guidelines that it doesn’t consider accepting “paid ads “and draws a fine line between advertising and content.
There still are various complaints that are yet to be addressed by FTC regarding the advertisements on YouTube and how YouTube Kids is promoting products through advertisements on the videos and are influenced to market to children.
In response to all these complaints, last summer of 2016, YouTube brought out an ad-free option but that also couldn’t work much on the ads which fall under the gray area. The option could only be able to remove the paid ads and the app still requires parental supervision and monitoring but it is always better to get the children engaged in outdoor games and spare children from growing consumerism.
If you consider all the arguments, complaints, new experiments by the company to provide a solution to the complaints, specifications, and suggestions by the experts, we will find that YouTube Kids is just a little-filtered version of YouTube which is a tolerable substitute of YouTube app for kids. It has to go a long way to become kids safe as long as the kind of reliability offered and promised by Netflix’s Kids section is concerned.
The company is continuously working on to make it better and reliable options for parents to subscribe to YouTube Kids app without much fear of exposing children to unwanted stuff. With all the added support from smart TV brands, you can download the YouTube Kids app on Android, Chromecast, iOS and TV platform in 26 countries worldwide.