YouTube has revealed a new app (shocking?) that is dedicated to one of their largest audiences: children.
It’s no secret that a child born as I write this post will probably play with a smartphone, tablet, or a similar device, before they even learn how to walk or talk. Catering to kids specifically is a no-brainier for one of the largest information platforms that exist on the web today. This is certainly an intelligent expansion move for YouTube and also addresses the inadvertent evils it acknowledges within its system.
Being that the Internet is somewhat of a Pandora’s Box of information (accessible to any child at the click of a button), there is a growing concern regarding how the groups that enable information-sharing help address this concern. YouTube Kids, as the app has been so creatively titled, allows for parents to set a timer on the app so that they may control their child’s use of the app. Another handy feature that has been included is one in which certain words that have been deemed inappropriate for children will not be “searchable”, instead redirecting the child to another search.
As the older brother to a curious, insightful, little girl, I can attest to this very real concern regarding young people and their Internet use. Looking something up on YouTube or Google that you heard while out at recess isn’t rocket science, taking little to no effort. That’s not to say that if you overheard Katie on the swings talking about the Underground Railroad you wouldn’t be able to find some fascinating documentary about the matter on YouTube. The Internet is a wonderful, beautiful, dangerous place; and I applaud YouTube on their efforts to fill the need for this kind of app.