YouTube is set to launch a separate website for children later this week, a support page detailing its latest updates has revealed. It will apparently be the desktop/web version of its existing Kids app, so you could probably expect similar features and safeguards available through the application.
The Google-owned video platform has been under intense scrutiny over the past few years due to various issues related to videos targeting children. It had to grapple with the rise in child-exploitative videos that masqueraded as family-friendly content, and it even had to shut down the comments section in videos with young children, because they were plagued with pedophilic responses. The platform also had to face an FTC probe that looked into whether it violated COPPA by collecting data for children under the age of 13.
In addition to launching a dedicated website for children, the platform has also introduced new categories for YouTube Kids, so young users can explore videos in a safer environment. You'll now be able to control what the app shows by choosing from three different age groups: Preschool for kids ages 4 and under, Younger for children ages 5 to 7 and Older for kids ages 8 to 12. The Older category can show a wider variety of videos, of course, including music and gaming videos, as well as family vlogs.
Despite the new measures, YouTube has included a reminder in its announcement that it doesn't manually review all its videos. "Our systems work hard to exclude content not suitable for each of these age categories, but not all videos have been manually reviewed," it wrote. It's worth noting that YouTube's algorithms are nowhere near perfect, as Wired found in 2018 when it discovered the bizarre and disturbing content that popped up while searching for children's search terms.