In an official blog post, YouTube has announced that it’s rolling out a host of new parental controls for guardians of young viewers. The video-sharing giant explained that, over the last year, it had been working with guardians and experts in fields such as child development and digital literacy, to develop their parental controls in a way that protects children from coming into contact with harmful content whilst still satiating the curiosity of children who find they’ve exhausted the library of content on YouTube Kids.
YouTube’s for everyone
YouTube will begin offering three new content settings for guardians to choose from when deciding how to supervise their child’s viewing.
Explore allows kids to browse, in addition to the entirety of YouTube Kids, a range of videos suitable for 9-year-olds and up, including music clips, educational content, news, gaming, and more.
Explore More offers and adds to the same set of videos as Explore does, and additionally lets viewers access content suitable for a 13+ audience AND live streams.
Most of YouTube does what it says on the tin. Aside from age-restricted content, a child who’s guardian has put them on this setting will have access to almost all videos on the platform.
YouTube also announced that in addition to allowing guardians to set the aforementioned content restrictions, they’ll be able to monitor and manage their viewing activity via Google’s Family Link. Guardians will have access to other parental controls offered by family link too, and apparently, new content controls will be added over time.
Because most of us are becoming more concerned with and aware of ad-tracking, it’s worth noting that YouTube mentions that users under certain content restriction categories will not have ads, personalised or otherwise, shown to them. At launch in-app purchases will be disabled, as will comments, though YouTube says it will bring the comment feature back after working with guardians and experts to decide how best they should be managed for younger users.
The point of this new “supervised experience” is to give older children a broader viewing experience while still keeping them safe. A release date hasn’t been given, but an early beta will be available for guardians in the next few months, for testing and feedback.