Google launches “YouTube Kids”, a new family app
Google launched a service called YouTube Kids, a new take on the internet’s premier destination for video aimed directly at kids.
Unveiled today in a blog post, the service is available as a free app on iOS and Android, and at this time it is only accessible in the United States.
“[YouTube Kids is] the first Google product designed from the ground up for the little ones, ”said Shimrit Ben-Yair, product manager of the YouTube Kids group, in the post. “The app makes it easier and safer for children to find videos on the topics they want. to explore.”
YouTube Kids limits the world of content on the service to curated, family-friendly educational videos, channels and clips, and includes titles such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Reading Rainbow, and National Geographic Children. To appeal to its target audience, the app’s interface features large images, colorful icons, and neatly curated launch videos on the main homepage. There are four sections — Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore — to explore in the app, and it also includes features like timer settings and a search function.
The company says the search allows users to access YouTube’s main video database, but the YouTube Kids results are automatically filtered for safe content. The service also gives adults a range of parental controls, including the ability to turn off search completely, limit screen time, and limit volume. Google has disabled comments on the service, but it displays child-friendly ads.
For Google, entering the children’s market is a long overdue movement. In December, the company has announced its intention to create products for children 12 and under, and now, it appears, the company is keeping its promise.
Recently, new data has shown how quickly kids are switching from watching TV to consuming videos on the Internet: According to recent reports according to research agency Neilsen, television viewing at home has declined over the past three years in the 2-11 age group, from 110.3 hours per month in 2011 to 102.9 hours in 2014. Conversely, in the same age group, Internet video viewing increased 87% to 6.3 hours per month in 2014.
Other players have already dipped their toes into the space, including Amazon, which for years included child-friendly content as part of its subscription service offerings. But Google has the advantage of being by far the Internet’s most popular destination for video content.
Some analysts believe its valuation, even independent of Google, to up to $ 40 billion, and he already got a a well-established viewer base among adolescents. If YouTube can gain parental trust and attract a new group at an even younger age, then it will tap into a whole new market of users who will literally grow with the service — and use it for a much longer portion of the service. their life. .