YouTube To Offer Dedicated App For Kids

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YouTube is reportedly planning to roll out a dedicated app designed specifically for kids. According to various sources, including Bloomberg, YouTube is looking for ways to expand its target audience.

The app, which is due to be released by the Google-owned video streaming company next week, is called YouTube Kids, and will run on smartphones and tablets and will primarily be focused on content that suits kids.

YouTube Kids is scheduled to be released on February 23 when it would be available for download. It will feature kid-friendly design, with big icons and minimal scrolling, according to Reuters.

YouTube Kids will be separate from the mainstream YouTube mobile app, and will also feature parental controls such as a timer that can be used to limit a child’s screen time.

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The story, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, said YouTube is planning to announce the new app on Monday at a children’s entertainment industry conference. The information has however, been confirmed by a spokeswoman of the Google-owned company, according to Reuters.

The app will be offered in the United States on devices with the Android OS through the Google Play store. Some of the companies that have been enlisted as partners include DreamWorks TV, National Geographic and The Jim Henson Co.

This is a clear departure from what Google has always provided in terms of tools and content designs. At the start of the current month, the company acquired mobile-app maker Launchpad Toy; a company renowned for the Toontastic storytelling tool. This acquisition will help the company to expand in Internet games and services designed for kids.

“The Jim Henson Company has been a long-time partner with YouTube,” according to Richard Goldsmith, executive vice president, global distribution and international consumer products at Jim Henson, said in the statement made available to Bloomberg. “The app is extremely kid friendly and features a variety of content, including several of our series such as Sid the Science Kid, Pajanimals, and Fraggle Rock.”

Reacting to the development Stephen Balkam, chief executive officer of the Family Online Safety Institute, said in the statement: “It is compelling, informative, entertaining and parents will be pleased they can easily set time limits. My hope is that it will open the door for even more great content for kids.”

USA Today also reported this story in December, and went ahead to explain Google’s reasons for taking such a decision, which it claimed, was to roll out child-friendly versions of its most popular products in a bid to be “fun and safe for children.”

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Author: Firdaus

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