YouTube for Kids: An Under-10 YouTube May Be in the Works

By Steve Anderson March 18, 2014

YouTube is, arguably, the biggest source of online video out there. The site receives more video in an average month than most users could watch in a lifetime by some estimates, and a host of different kinds of video can be found there, from the most informative to the most entertaining to the most bizarre. Most every taste can be satisfied on YouTube, but there's one taste that YouTube may be planning to cultivate a little more: the tastes of children 10 and under. New reports suggest that that may not be the case much longer, as YouTube is starting to reach out to child-friendly content providers for a whole new YouTube for the under-10 market.

While there's already quite a bit of content on YouTube for the under-10 market—seriously, search “PBS Kids” and check out the “about 236,000” listings therein—the idea behind this version of YouTube is that it wouldn't be intermingled with everything else that's on YouTube, including a lot of things parents would rather children not see like large portions of the comments section, as well as many of the videos involved. The kid-focused YouTube, meanwhile, would be regarded as a trusted source of content for the under-10 market, and could be accessed via a special app or device that would focus on kid-safe video.

Naturally, the main YouTube includes some protection on this front, like a “safety” mode that's geared toward filtering some content, some basic rules on what content can be brought into play, and a subsection called YouTube EDU, a school-focused version that offers strictly educational content. But even in these cases, there are still the issue of ads that come into play, and neither one really offers the same advantages that a specifically-tailored operation would bring to the table, like issues of trust and easy connectivity with devices. There are even reports that suggest the child-friendly YouTube is already on the hunt for content providers, gauging interest in terms of offering up videos for the under-10 market.

Naturally, this is still in the early stages, so it may never actually come to pass. But with a little appropriate engineering, this could be a very big move for YouTube. Most people who put up YouTube videos are either out to share the video with other people or out to make money. Naturally, there are exceptions, but making money or just having fun are the two biggest reasons to hit YouTube. That's tough to do given how much content is going into YouTube on a regular basis, but still very possible. A specifically kid-themed YouTube might make this prospect easier or more difficult; developing child-friendly content can be tougher, but there may be fewer players in this industry. Plus, those looking for child-friendly properties to develop might start the search on a kid-friendly YouTube rather than on YouTube proper. Though the issue of advertising might come up again; parents may not appreciate children used as a captive audience, but content producers won't appreciate working for tips, either.

There are plenty of issues that will need resolving with the launch of a child-friendly YouTube before it ever sees the light of day. It could certainly work, but not until the necessary tooling has been undertaken and all sides can receive a package that best reflects the motivations going into it.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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