YouTube have recently announced a set of new ‘Supervised’ features that will give parents more control over what content their kids watch on the streaming platform. Parents will soon be able to choose from three different content settings which are based on whether their kid is a pre-teen, above 13 years of age or on the verge of becoming an adult. These three settings have been called Explore, Explore More and Most of YouTube.
No matter how you look at it, YouTube has become an essential platform for most kids and is potentially more important and influential on our younger generation than any other TV channel or network.
The way that kids consume video content has changed and their interests have shifted. Now, kids are just as likely to aspire to become a YouTuber as they are an astronaut, or anything else. With the risks of various rabbit holes that YouTube can take your kids into with dangerous and potentially harmful content, they have now developed YouTube Kids; a dedicated platform for youngsters that runs separate from the main app and doesn’t facilitate links to all YouTube content.
To address the challenging position of when kids are ready to move on from their viewing content, YouTube has developed a new process that will enable parents to monitor their child’s YouTube activity via a connected experience.
“Over the last year, we’ve worked with parents and experts across the globe in areas related to child safety, child development, and digital literacy to develop a solution for parents of tweens and teens. In the coming months, we’ll launch a new experience in beta for parents to allow their children to access YouTube through a supervised Google Account. This supervised experience will come with content settings and limited features. We’ll start with an early beta for families with kids under the age of consent to test and provide feedback, as we continue to expand and improve the experience.”
Through this new option, parents will be able to choose from three levels of supervision for their children’s activity:
- 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.
Parents won’t just have control over what kind of content their kids watch; they will also have access to their search history and have controls like screen timers. YouTube says that it will also introduce a ‘blocking content’ feature to parental controls and kids won’t see personalised ads in order to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Given the COVID-19 lockdowns, this will be a much-welcomed tool, because without our regular entertainment options, more kids have been spending more time on connected devices over the past 12 months.
Keep an eye out for these changes taking place within the next few months. For more information on how to keep your child safe online, read our top tips here.
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