YouTube is launching a new app (initially on Android phones and tablets) that will run only kid-friendly content. YouTube Kids — home run right there — will field age-appropriate videos of cats, Minecraft, Thomas the Tank Engine and other things wholesome/hilarious — the app launches on February 23. The viewer opens up into eight large tiles, and videos are available in four main categories: Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. Curated third-party content will be provided by partners that include Jim Henson TV, DreamWorks TV and Mother Goose Club.
Notably, the new app strips out a lot of the complications of classic YouTube: comments are gone and the interface is tiny finger friendly. “The images are big as are the tap targets for small fingers, and since most younger children can’t type, they can search with voice,” says Shimrit Ben-Yair, the project’s group product manager. Parents can also set a viewing timer: once that runs out the password needs to be reentered before more video can be watched. Or the kid will probably just open the standard YouTube app — they’re tricky like that.