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YouTube to launch new experience for tweens and teens

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 01, 2021

This supervised experience will come with content settings and limited features

YouTube will launch a new experience for tweens and teens to access the platform through a supervised Google Account in the coming months.

The Google-owned video platform is launching the new experience for young users whose needs are not met by the YouTube Kids app alone.

“Over the last year, we've worked with parents and experts across the globe in areas related to child safety, child development, and digital literacy to develop a solution for parents of tweens and teens,” YouTube said in a recent blog post.

“In the coming months, we’ll launch a new experience in beta for parents to allow their children to access YouTube through a supervised Google Account,” it said.

This supervised experience will come with content settings and limited features. The tech giant will start with an early beta for families with kids under the age of consent who will test and provide feedback.

The new experience will provide three content settings for parents to choose from on YouTube.

The ‘Explore’ content setting is meant for children ready to move on from YouTube Kids and explore content on YouTube. It will feature a broad range of videos generally suitable for viewers aged 9+, including vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content, etc.

For viewers aged 13+, it will provide the ‘Explore More’ setting which will include a larger set of videos, and also live streams in the same categories as “Explore.”

The final setting ‘Most of YouTube’ will contain almost all videos on YouTube, except for age-restricted content.

“It includes sensitive topics that may only be appropriate for older teens,” YouTube said.

It will use a “mix of user input, machine learning and human review” to determine which videos are included in these settings.

YouTube has also developed a guide in partnership with National PTA, Parent Zone and Be Internet Awesome for parents.

“We’ll also launch an ongoing campaign that features creators discussing themes like bullying and harassment, misinformation, digital well-being and more,” it said.

Apart from choosing the relevant content settings, parents will also be able to manage watch and search history from within their child's account settings. They can also use other controls offered by Google’s Family Link, including screen timers.

“We’ll continue adding new parental controls over time, such as blocking content, it said.

The new experience for tweens and teens will be similar to regular YouTube, but certain features will be disabled to protect younger audiences. For instance, the platform will not serve personalised ads or ads in certain categories. At launch, it will also disable in-app purchases, as well as creation and comments features, it said.

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Published on March 01, 2021
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