Ahead of Children’s Day, YouTube has brought its YouTube Kids app to India. YouTube Kids is an app that has been designed keeping in mind the young and potent minds of the little ones. Launched first in the US in 2015, the app now comes to India with a set of children and family-friendly content that is now available for free through the Play Store and App Store. Also Read - YouTube 'supervised' experiences to help parents control what teens can watchAlso Read - YouTube now lets Android users play videos in 4K even on low resolution display
YouTube Kids has been launched in over 20 countries. As the app is targeted at children, it features a bright, playful design and makes it easier to find videos. YouTube is a decade-old service and YouTube Kids is just an 18-month old venture but has already raked in huge popularity with millions of downloads. With such a global reach, in a mobile-first country like India, it makes for a great initiative to bring a dedicated platform keeping kids’ sensibilities in mind. Targeted at kids aged 2-10 years, the app offers voice search to find videos even if they can’t spell or type. The voice search has been improved to understand and detect kids’ voice. It comes with support for Indian languages as well. The app comes with age-based customization. However, it doesn’t come with support for multi-user account, which means if parents have different aged kids then they would have to separately choose from the three-categories based on the age. Content includes nursery rhymes, 360-degree travel videos, educational shows, and guest-edited videos. Also Read - Google updates its YouTube app on iOS for the first time in 2 months
Children today are more tech-savvy than ever before and with the increasing exposure to technology from an early age, the kind of content that goes into nurturing their minds is something that has been a concern to a lot of parents. While it is almost next to impossible to keep children away from technology, there is certainly a way to at least monitor or control the kind of content that is being consumed. ALSO READ: Your YouTube video viewing experience is going to get much better with HDR videos
YouTube has over a billion monthly users and it can sometimes lead to certain content deemed unfit for a child inadvertently showing up on search results. In order to tackle this, the YouTube Kids app in India has been filled with popular content from India as well as international publishers. ChuChu TV, which is currently touted as one of India’s most popular YouTube channel for kids, is featured in the app with content including popular videos such as Little Krishna, new season of Cat & Keet and Appu – The Yogic Elephant among others.
“India already has a very diverse and rapidly-growing creator base for kids and learning, with content in this category growing 100 percent year over year. YouTube Kids also provides the perfect platform to showcase India’s incredibly vibrant, growing community of content creators, from animation studios to youtubers,” Malik Ducard, YouTube Global Head for Family and Learning said at the app announcement event.
Now having a dedicated app with child-friendly content is not enough. Within the app, YouTube has added parental control to allow the elder ones to monitor how much content is being consumed by the child. It comes with search settings that lets parents decide which type of kid-friendly content can be searched for. There are currently channels and playlists in four categories — Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore. With a specialized search setting, a parent can choose if it is time for learning or for music with the new app. One could further look up videos of particular interest like ‘the structure of atom’, or watch favorites from Galli Galli Sim Sim. There is also a feature that lets one decide the time for which the YouTube Kids app is to be used in order to keep a check on the screen time of the child. There’s an alert that tells the child when the session is over, so that one doesn’t have to snatch away the tablet or smartphone and be labeled a bad guy! Other parental control features include sound settings, passcode and security settings, and an option to stream the app content onto a bigger screen using a compatible media streaming device or through a smart TV.
The app will soon get a feature that will help optimize data usage. It is expected that similar to the main YouTube app, the YouTube Kids will also get a download to watch later option. Unfortunately, the app is currently ad-supported. But in future, with the launch of YouTube Red in India, the app will be also available in an ad-free version as well. ALSO READ: Google brings videos offline for India with YouTube Go app