Google launched a new service aimed at kids on Monday that the tech giant said is the company’s first-ever product built from the ground up with children in mind.
Google says families worldwide are watching millions of videos on YouTube.
“Trucks and trains and pretty much anything to do with Wiggles,” said San Jose mother Shaira Bhan.
“It’s not filtered very well,” said San Jose mother Alison Schnieder. “You’re Googling something and a whole another thing comes up so that safety is a huge concern.”
To address that parental concern, Google launched their new YouTube Kid App which essentially is a library of pre-screened family-friendly videos, music and channels.
In a blog post, YouTube Kids Group Product Manager Shimrit Ben-Yair wrote, “Now, parents can rest a little easier knowing that videos in the YouYube Kids App are narrowed down to content appropriate for kids.”
“As a parent knowing that [my daughter is] in a zone where there’s not going to be violent videos or sexual videos coming up, then it makes me happy,” said Schneider.
San Jose pediatrician Dr. Christine Halaburka says there a lot of studies under way regarding the effect on children and their exposure to various new media.
She recommends content be age-appropriate and in moderation.
“So the fact [Google is] now making it more age-appropriate is step one,” said Dr. Halaburka. “However there are ads on that so there’s still that question of advertising to children.”
The app has various parental controls including a timer setting. Currently it’s only available to users in the United States.