YouTube and YouTube Kids have stood as a separator between kid-appropriate content and that for older users for some time. Now, the company is reportedly looking to release parental controls meant to help migrate tweens and teens away from YouTube Kids. And, more directly, toward using YouTube safely and responsibly instead.
Summarily, the new parental controls are part of an overarching revision to how YouTube handles supervised accounts. The company won’t be parting ways with the YouTube controls already found in accounts managed by Family Link or other apps. Those will all still be fully available to those parents who need greater control or to control multiple device use. And to supplement — for example, with features related to time management.
How will the new parental controls for YouTube work for teens and tweens?
The biggest change is that parents will be able to allow and control the content accessed directly via YouTube settings. And with a new guide that’s been set up to help parents figure out the best approach to supervision. That was designed with help from the National PTA, Parent Zone and Be Internet Awesome.
In terms of control levels, parents will have three options, including Explore, Explore More, and Most of YouTube. YouTube intends the first level, Explore, for kids aged 9 or older. And it will include a wealth of content not found on YouTube Kids. Such as vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music, news, educational content, and other kid-appropriate content.
Explore More builds on that premise, increasing the available set of videos and adding live streams from the same categories to the mix. Explore More is intended for children aged 13 or older.
Last but not least, the company indicates that “Most of YouTube” unlocks all content that isn’t explicitly age-restricted.
In addition to those controls, YouTube plans to add more options such as video or channel blocking. And the company will turn some of the comment- and creation-related features off to start as well. With plans to add back some of that in the future with a strict focus on age appropriateness and with parental controls intact.
Secondary to all of that, YouTube plans to run a campaign with content creators to help kids learn about misinformation, bullying, harassment, and digital well-being as well.
So what’s going to happen with YouTube Kids?
All of those changes are said to be coming in the “coming months” and YouTube will undoubtedly detail things further as it launches. In the meantime, YouTube has plans for YouTube Kids too. The biggest new feature it plans to add is the option for parents to enable access to videos or channels.