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Google readies YouTube Kids app for launch

Parents who are worried about what their kids might see on YouTube have a solution to this dilemma other than banning Google’s video service from their offspring’s device – a new YouTube Kids app.

Obviously there can be content on YouTube which certainly isn’t for kids’ eyes, hence the launch of the new app which will hit the Play Store over in the US next Monday (it’ll be Android only to begin with).

The app will offer a simplified interface (with viewer comments being stripped away, among other elements), and will filter out any dodgy terms searched for. It will also allow parents to specify time limits for their child’s YouTube surfing, so they won’t be on the thing constantly.

Shimrit Ben-Yair, the project's group product manager, told USA Today about the booming levels YouTube family channels have experienced. He said: “Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids. We've seen 50% growth [year-on-year] in viewing time on YouTube, but for our family entertainment channels, it's more like 200%."

Another video service has also recently revealed a child-friendly offering, with Vine Kids only showing short video clips which are age appropriate – and also boasting a simple interface, along with embellishments like little animated characters, and funny sounds which are produced when children tap the display.