Google's YouTube to launch kids' app

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YouTube KidsImage source, Getty Images
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The NSPCC has welcomed the news of the app's launch

YouTube will launch a new app specifically for children on Monday in a bid to make using the service safer.

It is understood that YouTube Kids will have parental controls and restrictions on who can upload content.

The app will run separately to the main YouTube service and it will initially be available in the US only, but it is understood that it will be rolled-out in the UK later.

The move has been welcomed by the NSPCC child protection charity.

A spokesman for the charity said: "Keeping children safe online is the biggest child protection challenge of this generation. So it's good to hear about the launch of YouTube Kids.

"I'm sure it will be embraced by parents wanting increased reassurance that their younger children won't be exposed to inappropriate material."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The app will launch in the US on Monday and a UK version will follow

The parental controls will include the ability to limit the amount of time children can spend watching videos, as well as a tool allowing the search function to be switched off, it is understood.

YouTube Kids will have channels and playlists organised into four categories: Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. Users will also be able to search for individual topics.

The app will be free, but it will be available on Google's Android devices only.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The app will have parental controls and users will not be able to upload content, making it safer for children

DreamWorks TV, Jim Henson TV and Mother Goose Club will be some of the content providers, the BBC understands.

YouTube Kids product manager Shimrit Ben-Yair said: "Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids.

"We've seen 50% growth year over year in viewing time on YouTube, but for our family entertainment channels, it's more like 200%."