YouTube Kids launched years ago as a way for children under the age of 13 to view to kid-friendly content on devices like the best tablets for kids. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a perfect solution, particularly for older kids and teens whose viewing habits and interests differ from younger children. That’s where YouTube’s new supervised accounts come into play, allowing parents to open the gates to the main YouTube experience while still managing the kind of content their kids can watch.
With the new supervised accounts, parents will have three options to choose from when selecting available content for their kids. The “Explore” and “Explore More” options are suitable for kids starting at age 9 and 13 respectively, whereas “Most of YouTube” is geared towards older kids and teens, granting access to most videos while excluding age-restricted content. It’s similar to the split age groups on the YouTube Kids app.
To help build this experience, YouTube partnered with Be Internet Awesome, Parent Zone, and the National PTA to create a guide on Exploring YouTube Confidently. The guide includes some helpful tips for parents on starting conversations with their kids about safety, rules, and expectations around online content.
Kids are online now more than ever, and their safety online is a top priority. National PTA appreciates YouTube advancing age-appropriate experiences, as well as implementing settings that enable families to choose an experience that feels appropriate for their child.
To get started, parents must link their Google accounts with that of their kids. We have a handy guide on how to create a Google account for your kid through Family Link. When the child opens the YouTube app, they’ll be prompted to have a parent set up their viewing experience. Content is selected using a mix of user-input and machine learning, so the experience should improve over time. Parents will also have the ability to report content that they find unsuitable.
For kids, it should feel like the normal YouTube experience, distinct from what’s offered on the separate YouTube Kids app. Certain settings are disabled such as in-app purchases, as well as creation and comments features. Personalized ads will be disabled, including some ads that show content that may not be suitable for certain age groups. YouTube also plans to work with creators on providing content around themes like bullying, harassment, misinformation, and more.
YouTube plans to roll out the new experience in the coming months, first launching an early beta to gather more input to improve the experience further.