The world's largest video-sharing website, YouTube, launched a video-sharing app designed for use by #Children on Monday. The website is currently only available in the United States, but it is expected to be released in other countries eventually. YouTube Kids will run separately from the main YouTube service.


Google published the YouTube Kids app in the iOS and Android app markets, making it available to users of these devices free of cost. The app will provide parents with a wide range of controls to ensure that their child views content within their age range. The YouTube Kids app enables parents to control how much time their children can spend on the app everyday, besides turning off a general search option. Parents must also authorize content uploads.


Besides ensuring safe access to children, Google's new app aims to provide an educational experience to children. YouTube has the largest collection of videos anywhere on the internet, and videos suitable for children have been classified into channels and playlists falling under four groups, namely Shows, Music, Learn and Explore. A number of popular services will be available through the app, with Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club and DreamWorks TV all providing content.


Shimrit Ben-Yair, YouTube Kids Product Manager, said that Google had received a number of inquiries from parents asking for a more child-friendly video sharing website. "We've seen 50% growth year over year in viewing time on YouTube, but for our family entertainment channels, it's more like 200%," she noted.


Although the main YouTube website does include warnings for adult content, children were still able to access them if they were logged into an adult-owned account. The new app has generally been well-received.


The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has welcomed the new app, stating that a lack of online security is currently the greatest threat to child protection. Their spokesperson was of the video that YouTube Kids would be well-received by parents, who are showing increasing concerns about the safety of their children online.