Google is planning to launch a new YouTube app specially designed for children under 10 years of age. YouTube Kids will feature a kid-friendly design, with big icons and minimal scrolling as well as features for parents to limit kids viewing time, according to reports.
The YouTube Kids app will be free and run on smartphones and tablets. It will feature original episodes of popular television shows for preschoolers, including “Sesame Street,” and “Thomas the Tank Engine”. The app will also have content from the many kid-safe channels like the Mother Goose Club and Reading Rainbow which are already featured on YouTube, stated a person close to the devs. YouTube Kids will come with parental controls like a timer, so they can limit the kids video viewing time.
It is not yet clear how YouTube will make money from the app. WSJ says that currently the company is in discussions whether the app will feature ads. The YouTube Kids app will be announced by executive Malik Ducard at the Kidscreen Summit on 23rd Feb, a conference for the children’s entertainment industry.
YouTube product manager Shimrit Ben-Yair stated that the age-appropriate app is a much requested feature. "Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids." He added that family-friendly channels is a thriving business on YouTube. "(Year over year) we've seen 50% growth in viewing time on YouTube, but for our family entertainment channels, it's more like 200%."
Last month, Twitter video service released the Vine Kids iOS app for children below 5 years. The app shows G-rated 6-second videos that have been pre-screened for being appropriate for children. Children can easily view new videos by swiping left or right on the app.