Last month, YouTube quietly added a feature to the YouTube Kids app that lets parents cherry-pick content from YouTube main.
As announced in this video from the platform’s YouTube Viewers channel, the new feature gives parents the option to share both individual videos and entire channels from regular old YouTube to their kids’ cordoned-off YouTube Kids accounts.
YouTube’s had well-documented issues keeping kids’ content free of predatory content and just plain weird stuff on its main website, leading to some parents being understandably leery about letting their kids browse without supervision.
YouTube Kids, launched in 2015, is supposed to mitigate that problem. By default, it’s a curated selection of content that’s stringently monitored for family-friendliness.
Up till now, all content on YouTube Kids has been selected and approved by YouTube itself. This is the first time parents have been able to choose content to port over from YouTube main.
With the new sharing system, parents who spot a video or channel they want their kids to have access to will find a new option under the general “share” button. If they have multiple kids with YouTube Kids account, they’ll be able to select to share the video/channel with specific kids, or with all of them.
Once videos/channels are shared to a YouTube Kids account, they’ll appear under a new Shared section in the account’s homepage. Parents’ accounts will also show a running list of shared videos, along with the option to revoke access whenever they want.
Adding videos from YouTube main to YouTube Kids will only affect the accounts they were shared to; they won’t be available for any other users.
It’s worth noting this feature does not mean YouTube is giving blanket access for people to pull content from main to Kids. Users will not be able to share age-restricted videos, currently live video (though they can add crystallized uploads of live streams after the streams have concluded), or rented/bought TV shows or movies.
And, in keeping with YouTube Kids’ requirement not to collect personal and marketing data about users under 13, it’s also not letting parents bring in any videos with paid product placement.
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