rolled out a new feature on Thursday that lets parents handpick the videos and channels their children have access to. The new parental controls are available worldwide on Android and will launch soon on iOS.Kids
To enable the feature, open YouTube's settings, go to the child's profile and choose "approved content only." You can then start selecting videos or channels you want your kids to have access to by tapping the "+" button. Kids won't be able to search for content if this mode is enabled.
YouTube Kids has faced criticism since November, when The New York Times reported that inappropriate clips weren't getting caught by the app's filters. One video showed Mickey Mouse in a pool of blood, for example.
In late November, the company introduced, including a tougher application of community guidelines and blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors. The rollout of the new whitelisting feature on Thursday lets parents have more direct control over what their kids see on the app. YouTube first in April.
YouTube also launched a new experience for kids ages 8 to 12 that includes additional content like popular music and gaming videos. YouTube Kids defaults to the "Younger" version, which includes sing-alongs and age-appropriate educational videos, but parents can select the "Older" version when they're setting up a new profile or updating an existing one.
Parents can also swap between "Younger," "Older" and parent-approved content whenever they want. YouTube has started to roll out the new "Older" experience in the US, and will soon expand it worldwide.
Of course, the new whitelisting feature and tween experience won't be perfect, YouTube said.
"We work hard to make videos in the app family friendly, but no system is perfect," the company said in a release. "It's always possible that a parent may find something they don't want their child to watch in the "Younger" or "Older" experiences. If this happens, we ask that parents block and flag the video for review by our team."
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