Youtube Kids is
great decent okay and all, but as many children who grow to be a bit older will openly tell you, it feels super restrictive. Between the ages of 9 and 12, kids are more than ready to move on and explore some new and exciting content on the platform, but Youtube Kids is limited to videos for a much younger audience. Unfortunately, there really hasn’t ever been something for them to explore in between that and the full Youtube experience that’s a bit more mature and educational while keeping them safe.
Opening your children up to the full-blown Youtube app too early on can be a big mistake, but they sure will push for it! I remember this happening often when I worked with Chromebook customers in the retail space, and now more than ever with my five-year-old! Yes, they start begging that early.
Luckily, parents won’t have to cave to the pressure or make a decision they’ll regret, because the company has announced new options for pre-teens and teens alike that will allow them to explore more of what Youtube has to offer without putting them at significant risk. With a supervised account set up through Google Family Link, you will be able to beta test and control the new ‘Explore’, ‘Explore more’, and ‘Most of YouTube’ options in the app over the coming months!
- Explore: For children ready to move on from YouTube Kids and explore content on YouTube, this setting will feature a broad range of videos generally suitable for viewers ages 9+, including vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content and more.
- Explore More: With content generally suitable for viewers ages 13+, this setting will include an even larger set of videos, and also live streams in the same categories as “Explore.”
- Most of YouTube: This setting will contain almost all videos on YouTube, except for age-restricted content, and it includes sensitive topics that may only be appropriate for older teens.
The ability to customize the Youtube experience for up-and-coming young adults in a way that helps them unlock their potential is a welcome addition, but it’s still no replacement for good parenting! As with everything else, this is just a tool, and like the many mishaps of Youtube Kids, it’s likely to accidentally show your kids things that are not age-appropriate from time to time, so be on guard, and keep not only your ears open but your eyes too. Many wacky videos tend to have happy-go-lucky music, but the visuals are extremely inappropriate, and you wouldn’t even know it if you’re listening from another room!
With that being said, you should take some time to review the guide that Youtube has created in partnership with National PTA, Parent Zone, and Be Internet Awesome so that you can understand how to help your kids become good digital citizens. It’s as the Youtube team says – “Parents also have a key role in developing children’s digital skills,” so take the time to learn and grow alongside your little ones!
This option was designed for parents who think their children are ready to explore the vast universe of YouTube videos. We will use a mix of user input, machine learning, and human review to determine which videos are included. We know that our systems will make mistakes and will continue to evolve over time.Youtube Blog
Still, it’s fantastic to see Google putting so much attention and care into making their products available to families and younger audiences. Giving your kids the autonomy they need to learn and explore age-appropriate content will be easier than ever with Youtube’s new filter settings. You may also be happy to know that in-app purchases, personalized ads in certain categories, video creation, and commenting are all stripped out of these new experiences. Google will work with parents and experts over time to see if they can be added appropriately.