YouTube To Release Kid-Friendly Video App With Parental Controls On Monday

YouTube is going where Netflix has gone before by providing kids with a selection of family-friendly content. The new YouTube Kids, which is expected to launch Monday, will feature the likes of Sesame Street and Thomas the Tank Engine. The built-in search engine will guide kids away from problematic search terms and parents will be able to set a timer to end access. But YouTube Kids’ most interesting characteristic isn’t its features: it’s that the service is (at least, initially) available only as an Android app.

The Google Play store will soon have new competition for the array of apps that cater to kids.

The YouTube Kids app will also feature a music section and have its own channel for educational TV. And because it’s completely detached from YouTube itself, there’s no worry that your child will wander outside of YouTube Kids’ appropriate content. (Provided, of course, that your definition of OK shows aligns with Google’s). In some ways, it sounds as though it will be similar to the kid-friendly section of Netflix.

On paper, the free YouTube Kids app sounds like a win for parents who want to let their kids enjoy YouTube content but don’t want them to have access to the full range of videos that are available on the service. Google is announcing the service at the Kidscreen Summit in Miami and we hope that it will shed more light then on whether an iOS version of the app is in the works. An online version of the service, or an app for the Roku, wouldn’t hurt either. Just sayin’.