Google has announced its YouTube Kids app, available for iOS and Android, is set to gain more parental controls, which will include letting parents approve what content their kids can watch, finally.
According to James Beser, Product Director for YouTube Kids, in a company blog post, he details how this week, the YouTube Kids team and partners will begin to offer collections of trusted channels across a variety of genres. This will let parents select trusted channel collections and topics for their kids to watch. This feature can be accessed by going into Profile Settings and choosing from available collections.
Another parental control feature coming this week, is the ability to turn off search—which will only leave available approved and verified channels by the YouTube Kids team. When search is off, that means recommendations will not include those videos available in the broad YouTube Kids realm.
The big feature coming “later this year”, is the ability for parents to “specifically handpick every video and channel available to their child in the app.” This will ensure parents know exactly what their kids can and cannot watch.
Earlier this month, a coalition of 23 child privacy, consumer and advocacy groups in the U.S. alleged YouTube has been collecting data illegally on children, and launched a complaint with the FTC. Meanwhile, last fall, YouTube Kids was blamed for failing to filter out graphic content from young viewers, as many criticized the platform’s algorithms.
With the recent Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, there is now heightened awareness when it comes to user privacy, especially when it comes to children.