Category Archives: Australia Blog

News and notes from Google down under

Assessing the Economic, Societal, and Cultural Impact of YouTube in Australia


Every day, YouTube helps Australians learn new skills, start businesses, and enrich their lives. And this felt particularly true in 2020, when Australians turned to YouTube to learn, be entertainment or stay active with at-home fitness classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
I personally tuned into a lot of YBS Youngbloods to escape into the Aussie wilderness, I got tips from Self Sufficient Me to upgrade my veggie garden, and I followed Dr Matt & Dr Mike to learn more about COVID-19. 
Now, for the first time, we’re quantifying what happens on YouTube with the effects of the ecosystem in Australia comprehensively examined in a detailed study. The independent consulting firm, Oxford Economics, based in England, with a branch in Sydney, has compiled A Platform for Australian Opportunity: Assessing the Economic, Societal, and Cultural Impact of YouTube in Australia

So, what was the key finding? 
The YouTube creative ecosystem contributed A$608 million to the Australian economy and supported 15,750 full time equivalent jobs in 2020. 

YouTube creators (regardless of whether they are independent creative entrepreneurs*, media companies or the music industry) benefit from income that is generated directly via YouTube, for example, as advertising income or license fees. And we can see that the number of YouTube channels making five figures or more in revenue is up more than 30% year over year. 
In addition, YouTube helps many creators earn income from additional sources - whether that’s generating revenue by promoting a brand on video, or selling more of a product thanks to their YouTube profile. This off-platform income leads to further economic effects: for the creators themselves, across the corresponding Australian supply chains - as creators purchase goods for filming or pay for services like video editing - and, in turn, through expenses by employees. 

What did we learn about YouTube Creators? 
Australian creators are finding opportunities and audiences on YouTube, often leading to new doorways opening away from the platform. The report showed: 
  • 67% of creative entrepreneurs said YouTube has had a positive impact on their professional goals. 
  • 68% of creators agreeing YouTube gives them the opportunity to work in a way that suits their needs. 
  • 50% of creative entrepreneurs indicated YouTube had brought them additional opportunities away from the platform. 
Chloe Ting is just one of our homegrown stars and now one of the biggest fitness YouTube creators in the world. Her channel gained more than 14 million subscribers in 2020 alone, as she inspired a global movement of people staying healthy, connected and uplifted, particularly during COVID-19. Her accessible virtual classes and challenges not only help people move their bodies, but support their mental health by giving them a sense of belonging and a place to feel supported. 

How are businesses using YouTube? 
YouTube has become a significant tool for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). Through their own channel, targeted adverts or simply from watching YouTube content, businesses use YouTube to grow sales, connect with customers, and become more competitive. 
  • 75% of SMBs who advertise on YouTube agreed that YouTube ads have helped them grow sales. 
  • 63% of SMBs with a YouTube channel agreed their YouTube presence helps customers to find them. 
  • 75% of SMBs agreed or strongly agreed that YouTube is a convenient and cost-effective way of providing staff training. 
  • 68% of users agree YouTube has helped them learn about new career paths. 
When Sanjna Pathania’s morning routine video working for "The Big Four" went viral on YouTube, the former risk management consultant set out to help young Aussies kick start their career by sharing her corporate lifestyle and the lessons she had learned along the way. Now, Success by Sanjna is a one-stop shop for young people to get job-ready, and her strategies and insights are so in-demand, she’s left behind the corporate world and used her channel to launch a professional development consulting service. It’s all part of her mission to support a generation of confident and ambitious goal-chasers. 

Who are our creators? What are they saying? 
Anyone can become a creator - all you need is an idea or a passion. YouTube offers people with different backgrounds, of any age and from all parts of Australia the opportunity to share their voice. Because of this open culture, YouTube has now become a kind of content library. This content not only has the potential to generate a social dialogue and build new communities, but also to drive social change. 
  • 76% of creators agreed that YouTube provides a platform for undiscovered talent that is not being surfaced by traditional media. 
  • 64% of creators who self-identified as a minority agreed that they feel like they have a place to belong as a YouTube creator. 
  • 77% of users agreed that YouTube is home to diverse content. 
Each day, YouTube allows millions of new voices to be heard and stories to be told, and provides a place to belong for people around the world. Feeling alienated and alone when she was diagnosed with autism, Chloé Hayden channelled her emotions into building a YouTube channel that welcomes - and celebrates - diverse Australian voices in a safe and comforting space. Chloé’s channel is a place for people to find safety, share their experiences and offer support to each other. And her 33 thousand subscribers are more than her audience - they’re her inspiration and championing their stories helps the 23-year-old change the mindsets of the wider community and normalise discussions around disabilities. 

Is local culture being exported? 
Australian creators and artists punch above their weight and are receiving local and global recognition. And we’re proud that, whether it’s amplifying local voices like Baker Boy or promoting uniquely Aussie content like Brinkley Davies, YouTube has enabled homegrown talent to access audiences around the world. In fact, the report has shown us: 
97% of music and media companies with a YouTube channel agreed that the platform helps them reach new audiences across the world. 
Over 90% of watch time on content produced by Australian channels came from outside Australia in 2020.

What did we find in terms of “learning”? 
More and more people are coming to YouTube to access information and learn something new, and with over 500 hours of video uploaded every minute, there are constantly new learning opportunities at people’s fingertips. In both private and professional life, YouTube enables Australians to acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge - to save money, gain qualifications or even make a career jump. 
Dr Matt & Dr Mike are one example of creators helping audiences expand their minds. The lecturers unpack the mysteries of science in front of hundreds of thousands of people and democratise education through their fun and easy-to-understand YouTube tutorials. They first created their short videos as extra student resources, but their simple and relatable style soon triggered a world-wide reaction, and the pair are now on a mission to give everyone free access to world-class science and medical education. 
From teachers to parents, to small businesses and students, YouTube is enabling Australian users to acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge. 
  • 70% of teachers who use YouTube agreed that the platform gives students the flexibility to learn at their own pace. 
  • 71% of parents who use YouTube agreed that YouTube (or YouTube Kids for children under 13) makes learning more fun for their children. 
  • 77% of users agree YouTube has helped them supplement their formal education. 
  • 92% of users said they use YouTube to gather information and knowledge. 
These acquired skills and knowledge don’t go to waste. Leo Bailey turned to YouTube tutorials to teach himself how to make a range of different products after buying his first 3D printer. But when he saw a call-out for health-care supplies during COVID-19, the 13-year-old focused his attention towards making essential PPE supplies for hospitals across the state. During the pandemic, Leo made more than 100 masks for health staff and touchless ‘button pushers’ for local residents to use in public spaces to avoid directly touching surfaces. 

To read more about Australian creators and the report findings at yt.be/howyoutubeworks

*The term creative entrepreneur here stands for YouTube creators, regardless of their gender identity, with at least 10,000 subscribers on their largest channel and for creators with fewer subscribers who receive funds directly from YouTube, generate funds from other sources with their YouTube videos and / or permanently employ other people to support their YouTube activities. 

About Oxford Economics: Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a joint venture of Oxford University's Business College to provide economic forecasting and models for UK companies and financial institutions planning to expand abroad. Since its inception, the organisation has grown into one of the leading global and independent consulting firms in the world, providing reports, forecasting and analysis tools in over 200 countries, 250 industries and 7,000 cities and regions. 
With headquarters in Oxford, England and regional centers in Frankfurt, London, New York and Singapore, Oxford Economics employs 400 full-time employees, including 250 economists, industry experts and business writers. The highly qualified team offers a wide range of research techniques and has groundbreaking expertise, including in areas such as econometric modeling, scenario framing and impact analyses, but also market surveys, case studies, expert panels and web analyses. 

The best of Australian photojournalism is now on Google Arts & Culture

Discover 12 highlights from “Paper Tigers” 

Starting today, World Press Freedom Day, people around the world can discover 60 images from 60 of Australia’s best photojournalists online on Google Arts & Culture, thanks to a new partnership with Head On Foundation

To celebrate this new collection, we sat down with Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, Founder and Artistic Director of the Head On Photo Festival, to learn more about the important moments these photographs capture and the incredible stories behind them. 

“The 60 images selected represent a small snippet of what Australia was like over the past four decades. Images that defined modern Australia, images that reflect the culture we live in, images that make political statements and images of diverse aspects of our world,” said Head On Foundation Director, Moshe Rosenzveig OAM. 

With so many moments to explore, here are Moshe’s 12 picks to get you started: 
  • Mervyn Bishop's historic 1975 image captures then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pouring a handful of earth back into the hand of Gurindji elder and traditional landowner Vincent Lingiari. This image represented the Australian government’s recognition of Aboriginal land rights and became an icon of the land rights movement and Australian photography. 





  • Martine Perret’s beautiful image ‘Levi and Keneisha’, taken as a part of her project Ngala Wongga (come and talk): Cultural Significance of Languages in the Western Australian Goldfields it captures local woman, Glenys Williams grandchildren floating in the clay pan around the Wiluna Mission. 








“I am thrilled for Head On to partner with Google Arts & Culture - this is such an important platform that ensures arts and culture can continue to thrive and fulfil their vital role in our society. Anyone, anywhere, can see excellent photography in a COVID-19 safe way at a time and place that suits them,” said Head On Foundation Director, Moshe Rosenzveig OAM. 

Keep exploring the eight virtual exhibits, or in the Head On Foundation collection audiences can also explore 100 incredible images from the Head On Photo Award 2020 finalists. 


Make your home a little more helpful: new Nest features


Nest devices are changing the way we get things done at home - and the best part is that they keep getting more and more helpful over time with regular updates. You may have already noticed and started using new features like: 


Get access to award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries with the Apple TV app now on Chromecast with Google TV. You’ll now see Apple Originals in your recommendations on Google TV, and you can add them to your Watchlist. 


New to Chromecast with Google TV? 
Set up is quick and easy. Now you're on the way to discover even more content from many of your favourite apps, including 400,000+ movies and TV episodes, plus millions of songs. 


Guest Mode 
We introduced Guest Mode on Nest devices, an easy way to control your privacy on your speakers and displays, like Nest Audio and Nest Hub Max. You can enjoy all your favourite features, like asking questions, controlling smart home devices, setting timers or playing music and your Google Assistant interactions will not be saved to your account. Just say, “Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode,” to turn it on. 


These are just some of the ways we are helping you to get more out of your Nest devices. Keep an eye out for more helpful features. 

*Chromecast with Google TV requires a TV with an HDMI port, a Wi-Fi network, a Google Account, a nearby electrical outlet, and a compatible mobile device. Minimum OS requirements are available at g.co/cast/req. 
**Subscription required for Apple TV+.

How we’re helping Aussies in their search for support

Editor’s note: This post is co-authored by Rachel Bowes, Head of Crisis Services and Quality at Lifeline Australia and Jill Newby, Associate Professor at Black Dog Institute. 



Early intervention and access to mental health support services are now more important than ever, following a difficult 14 months for Australians with bushfires, drought and COVID-19. 

Search interest for "What is depression?" reached its highest peak in more than a decade in March 2020 in Australia, so there is a great opportunity to direct people to the support they need — right at the moment they are looking for information. 

Starting today, anyone in Australia searching for depression can not only view trusted information on the condition, but also opt to take a 9-question self-assessment that is based on a clinically-validated questionnaire called PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9). This questionnaire is used by healthcare providers to evaluate someone’s level of depression and identify resources that would be most suitable to their needs. 


After completing Google’s new self-assessment, people can see their risk for depression as well as connect with evidence-based resources, crisis hotlines, and additional support from our teams at Black Dog Institute and Lifeline. 

With over 3 million people in Australia living with anxiety or depression, the more access to support that is offered the better. 1 in 5 Aussies will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year – and roughly 60% of these people won’t seek help. So when organisations take steps to ensure people are aware that support is available and how to access them, we know it will help save lives. 

Over the past year, Lifeline’s Volunteer Crisis Supporters have been on the frontline, holding people safe as they battle the invisible effects of disaster – the impact on mental health. At Lifeline, the ‘new normal’ is responding to over 3,000 calls every day. That’s a person in crisis now reaching out for support every 30 seconds. 

Meanwhile the Black Dog Institute was quick to conduct research on how Australians were coping with the pandemic. Realising three quarters of participants said their mental health had worsened as a result of COVID-19, the medical research institute stepped up support through its online clinic offering telehealth support so everybody has the same access to support, no matter their location in Australia. 

Collectively, the Black Dog Institute and Lifeline welcome new resources that help people better understand their condition and empower them to seek out appropriate mental health support services. We are glad to work with Google to extend existing, clinically-validated tools to meet the needs of Australians, especially during this critical time.

Meet the new Nest Hub

Introducing the second-generation Nest Hub! Since we launched Google’s first smart display two years ago, it’s brought help to thousands of homes and we’ve been dedicated to exploring ways to make our devices even more helpful. 

The Nest Hub you love, but better 
The new Nest Hub’s speaker is based on the same audio technology as Nest Audio and has 50 percent more bass than the original Hub for a bigger, richer sound to fill any room with music, podcasts or audiobooks from services like YouTube Music and Spotify — or enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies with a subscription from providers like Netflix, Disney+ and Stan. With Quick Gestures, you can pause or play content at any time by tapping the air in front of your display. 
The new Nest Hub shows all your compatible connected devices in one place so you can control them with one tap. And with a built-in Thread radio, Nest Hub will work with the new connectivity standard being created by the Project Connected Home over IP working group, making it even simpler to control your connected home. 

Nest Hub is also full of help for your busy family. See your calendar, set timers, and create reminders with Family Notes, digital sticky notes to share chores and to-dos so everyone stays on track. 


New sleep features for better rest 
The Nest Hub has always helped you tackle the day; now, it can help you rest well at night. Many of us don’t get enough sleep, which is becoming the number one concern for adults when it comes to health and wellness. 
As people have started to recognise the need for better sleep, sleep trackers have continued to become a popular solution. But we wanted to offer an alternative way for people who may not want to wear something to bed to understand their sleep. 
We dug into the data, and because we also knew people felt comfortable with Nest Hub at their bedsides thanks to its camera-free design, we went to work. The result is Sleep Sensing, an opt-in feature to help you understand and improve your sleep — and is available as a free preview until next year. 
Sleep Sensing is completely optional with privacy safeguards in place so you’re in control: You choose if you want to enable it and there's a visual indicator on the display to let you know when it’s on. Motion Sense only detects motion, not specific bodies or faces, and your coughing and snoring audio data is only processed on the device — it isn’t sent to Google servers. You have multiple controls to disable Sleep Sensing features, including a hardware switch that physically disables the microphone. You can review or delete your sleep data at any time, and consistent with our privacy commitments, it isn't used for personalised ads. 
Even if you choose not to enable Sleep Sensing, you can still fall asleep and wake up easier with Nest Hub. The display dims to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly, and the “Your evening” page helps you wind down at night with relaxing sounds. When it’s time to wake up, Nest Hub’s Sunrise Alarm gradually brightens the display and increases the alarm volume. If you need a few more ZZZs, use Motion Sense to wave your hand and snooze the alarm. 


Sustainable design that matches any room 
The new Nest Hub will be available to Australians in two colours, to complement most rooms in the house: Chalk and Charcoal. It features an edgeless glass display that’s easy to clean and makes your Nest Hub an even more beautiful digital photo frame. And continuing our commitment to sustainability, Nest Hub is designed with recycled materials with its plastic mechanical parts containing 54 percent recycled post-consumer plastic. 

The second-generation Nest Hub is $149. It can be preordered online in Australia at the Google Store and other retailers from today.

Rising up to celebrate Mardi Gras 2021

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people gather on Oxford St to celebrate Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. While this year’s event looked a little different, the 2021 theme called on the community to RISE up and celebrate loudly, proudly – and safely. 

Over the past 5 years, we’ve supported Mardi Gras’ vision to provide a platform for LGBTQI+ people and their allies to share stories, connect and express themselves. We’ve provided funding to individuals, community groups and not-for-profits through the Mardi Gras Community Grants Program to help organisations deliver their messages and dazzle during the parade. These organisations have advocated across a range of issues – from sport to health and the creative arts. 

Among our grantees this year are Haka for Life and Corroboree for Life, two Perth-based suicide prevention organisations with a mission is to empower people to connect with culture through traditional Aboriginal dance and the Māori Haka. 



This year, Haka for Life and Corroboree for Life paraded traditional costumes and powerfully performed Corroborees and the Haka across the Sydney Cricket Ground. 




We’re delighted to award grants to many other LGBTQI+ focused organisations, representing trans, regional and indigenous communities (and more).  This includes: 

ANTRA (澳纽彩盟) - Australia & New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance is a NSW registered community organisation advocating for the rights, livelihood and welfare of Australia and New Zealand’s Mandarin & Cantonese speaking LGBTQIA+ communities. 

Autism Spectrum Australia - A not-for-profit working in partnership with people on the autism spectrum to understand, engage and celebrate the strengths and interests of people on the autism spectrum, including the Autistic LGBTQIA+ community, as the Neurodiversity Rainbow. 

Point Clare Families - A grassroots community group from the Central Coast representing same sex parented, opposite sex parented and single parent families. They celebrate diverse families and safe spaces for youth and families to explore their identities. Their group includes participants living with disability.

TRANS GLAMORE - A night held monthly in celebration of transgender performers & friends. 

We are proud to support even more organisations with grants this year including; The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF), The Colours of Our Community, Different Strokes, Dayenu-Sydney’s Jewish LGBTQ+ Group, Emerald City Kickball, Entry #2, Girl Guides, The Institute of Many, The Oz Fag Hags, The Pinnacle Foundation, Raio de Sol, The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association, Sydney Silverbacks Wrestling Club, Trikone Australia and Queer Zumba. 

While we had to navigate new rules and restrictions this year, Mardi Gras 2021 was no half measure. The spirit was high, the festivities were fabulous – and the community showed they are ready to RISE and shine. I’m already reliving the memories listening to the YouTube Mardi Gras playlist

Posted by Jes Kane, Social Impact Manager, Google Australia and New Zealand

From the seas, to more ZZZs: Your new Pixel features

The best part of your Pixel is that it keeps getting even more helpful, and even more unique. With regular updates, Pixels get smarter, more capable and more fun. This latest drop is no exception, and for Pixel 3 and newer devices, includes the ability to easily access and share audio recordings, a new way to use the Pixel Camera app underwater and new wallpapers to celebrate International Women's Day. 

A more shareable Recorder 
Whether it’s that guitar riff you've been working on or reviewing transcripts from a class lecture, Recorder makes it easy for Pixel owners to easily record, transcribe (English only) and search the audio moments that matter to you. Now you can share links to your Recorder audio files, so anyone can listen, even if they don’t have a Pixel. At recorder.google.com, you can hear recordings, see transcripts and even search through files — you get the entire Recorder playback experience in one shareable link. 
You can also back up recordings to your Google Account to help keep them safe, and easily access them from any device. See more at g.co/pixel/recorder

Capture the seas with Kraken Sports 
Now Pixel users can capture the same kinds of high quality images they’re accustomed to above water, and do it underwater without the cumbersome cameras and cases scuba drivers have traditionally used. Pixel camera software engineer, José Ricardo Lima, was scuba diving with his husband in the Philippines when he wondered what it would be like to use his Pixel camera underwater. His idea was to create a custom integration that combined Pixel’s camera with a case made for diving. Now, divers will be able to use their Pixel camera with the Kraken Sports’ Universal Smart Phone Housing to capture marine life and seascapes. Get access to your Pixel’s camera features, including Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Motion Photos and video directly through Pixel’s Camera app for high-quality images of you and your underwater friends. See g.co/pixel/diveconnector for more information. 
Photo captured on Pixel 5 using KRH03 Kraken Sports Universal Smart Housing. Kraken Sports is a registered trademark of Kraken Sports Ontario, Canada. 

Attention-grabbing graphics 
Part of Pixel’s latest drop also includes new wallpapers that celebrate different cultural moments throughout the year with artwork from artists around the world. And for International Women’s Day on March 8, Pixel will add new wallpapers illustrated by Spanish duo Cachetejack, which focus on the strength and transformation of women. 
Adapting to you and your routine 
Your Pixel can help you catch more ZZZs with a more seamless bedtime schedule on your Pixel Stand. When you use the bedtime features in Clock with your Pixel Stand, you’ll see a new, updated bedtime screen, along with redesigned notifications to help you ease into sleep. This feature is available on Pixel phones with wireless charging capability: Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 5. Pixel Stand is sold separately. 
For more information on the new features that just dropped and to see phone compatibility, head to http://g.co/pixel/updates. And if you’re looking for more helpfulness across your device, check out all of the latest updates announced from Android

Pixel 5G devices can now access 5G in dual SIM mode 
Software updates also mean that Pixel 4a with 5G and Pixel 5 devices will now be able to access 5G even when in dual SIM mode (eSIM+physical SIM DSDS).


And as a bonus, we recently announced a new Google Fit feature that allows you to measure your heart rate and respiratory rate using just your phone’s camera. This feature will roll out to Pixel owners next week (and is not intended for medical purposes). 



1. Works with Pixel 2 or newer phones. Requires Android R, Camera Update 8.1 (Nov. 2020), Dive Case Connector app for Google Camera, KRH04 or KRH03 Kraken Sports Universal Smart Phone Housing (sold separately). See g.co/pixel/dive-case-connector-setup for more information on setup. Google is not responsible for the operation of Kraken Sports products or their compliance with any applicable safety or other requirements. Photo captured on Pixel 5 using KRH03 Kraken Sports Universal Smart Phone Housing. Kraken Sports is a registered trademark of Kraken Sports Ontario, Canada. 
2. Transcription is available in English only. Recorder sharing requires an Internet connection and a Google Account. 
3. Cloud storage requires an Internet connection and a Google Account. 
4. Your Pixel will receive feature drops during the applicable Android update and support periods for the phone. See g.co/pixel/updates for details.
5. Requires a 5G data plan (sold separately). 5G service not available on all carrier networks or in all areas. Contact carrier for details. 5G service, speed and performance depend on many factors including, but not limited to, carrier network capabilities, device configuration and capabilities, network traffic, location, signal strength and signal obstruction. Actual results may vary. Some features are not available in all areas. Data rates may apply. See g.co/pixel/networkinfo for info. 
 


A new choice for parents of tweens and teens on YouTube

“We’ve worked closely with YouTube on the complexities of redesigning their global platform to help ensure that the content children consume is diverse, high quality and age-appropriate. Getting this right is challenging – and requires ongoing discussions with global experts. A global platform will always need to keep innovating in response to emerging challenges, so it’s great to see that YouTube has processes in place to ensure that top notch expertise can guide its evolution.” - Prof Amanda Third, Young and Resilient Research Center Western Sydney University




This generation of tweens and teens has grown up online, and it’s where they go to learn, laugh, and connect. Every family has a different approach to how they use technology, access the internet and set digital ground rules. Over the years, we’ve made investments to protect families and kids on YouTube, such as launching a dedicated kids app, better protecting their privacy, restricting features and improving age restrictions. Today, we are announcing a new choice for parents who have decided their tweens and teens are ready to explore YouTube with a supervised account. 


Supervised experiences on YouTube 
From our earliest days, YouTube has been a platform for people over 13, and we’ve always recommended that parents co-watch with their kids if they choose to watch YouTube. In 2015, we created YouTube Kids, a safer destination for kids to explore their interests while providing parental controls. But since then, we’ve heard from parents and older children that tweens and teens have different needs, which weren’t being fully met by our products. As children grow up, they have insatiable curiosity and need to gain independence and find new ways to learn, create, and belong. 
Over the last year, we've worked with parents and experts across the globe in areas related to child safety, child development, and digital literacy to develop a solution for parents of tweens and teens. In the coming months, we’ll launch a new experience in beta for parents to allow their children to access YouTube through a supervised Google Account. This supervised experience will come with content settings and limited features. We’ll start with an early beta for families with kids under the age of consent to test and provide feedback, as we continue to expand and improve the experience. 


Giving parents content options on YouTube 
We know that every parent has a different parenting style and that every child is unique and reaches different developmental stages at different times. That’s why we’ll give parents the ability to choose from 3 different content settings on YouTube. 
  • Explore: For children ready to move on from YouTube Kids and explore content on YouTube, this setting will feature a broad range of videos generally suitable for viewers ages 9+, including vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content and more. 
  • Explore More: With content generally suitable for viewers ages 13+, this setting will include an even larger set of videos, and also live streams in the same categories as “Explore.” 
  • Most of YouTube: This setting will contain almost all videos on YouTube, except for age-restricted content, and it includes sensitive topics that may only be appropriate for older teens. 

This option was designed for parents who think their children are ready to explore the vast universe of YouTube videos. We will use a mix of user input, machine learning and human review to determine which videos are included. We know that our systems will make mistakes and will continue to evolve over time. 
We recommend parents continue to be involved in guiding and supporting their child’s experience on YouTube. To help parents get started, we’ve developed a guide in partnership with National PTA, Parent Zone and Be Internet Awesome. We’ll also launch an ongoing campaign that features creators discussing themes like bullying and harassment, misinformation, digital well-being and more. 


New features for families 
We understand the importance of striking a balance between empowering tweens and teens to more safely gain independence, while offering parents ways to set controls. In addition to choosing the content setting, parents will be able to manage watch and search history from within their child's account settings. Parents can also use other controls offered by Google’s Family Link, including screen timers. We’ll continue adding new parental controls over time, such as blocking content. 
When a parent grants access to YouTube, their child’s experience will feel much like regular YouTube, but certain features will be disabled to protect younger audiences. For example, we won't serve personalised ads or ads in certain categories. At launch, we'll also disable in-app purchases, as well as creation and comments features. Since self-expression and community are integral parts of YouTube and children's development, over time we'll work with parents and experts to add some of these features through an age-appropriate and parent controlled approach. 


Investing in YouTube Kids 
We’re building this new supervised experience for parents who think their older kids are ready to use YouTube, but we still recommend YouTube Kids for younger kids to watch independently and have a more contained viewing experience. 
With availability in over 80 countries, now over 35 million viewers use YouTube Kids every week. We’ll continue expanding product availability, adding new features, and offering several new parental tools, such as a highly-requested option for parents to select specific videos and channels from the main YouTube platform that they’d like their child to explore on YouTube Kids. 
We know that we have a long journey ahead of us as we design this experience for parents of tweens and teens. Over the long term, we hope this will provide a safer environment for older children to explore their interests, learn new skills, connect with communities that share their passions, while giving parents more ways to support their kids' online experience. 


Wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t reuse your password!

Parenting was especially challenging in 2020. Our families needed to learn new habits like social distancing, wearing masks and frequently washing our hands. As a large part of our everyday lives moved online, it was necessary to teach our children to take extra precautions as well. 
Parents have always been concerned for the digital safety of their families, and with online learning becoming the main mode of school for many, this might be even more of a concern. So we worked with our Trust and Safety Research team to survey parents all over Asia-Pacific, including here in Australia, and found that parents with children attending school online were more concerned about online safety than those whose children attended school in-person. 
As we moved to home working and learning, and children continued their education through digital means, 47% of Aussie parents expressed increased concern about online safety for their children. But interestingly, more than a third of parents interviewed said they had never spoken to their children about online safety, and only half of those interviewed said they were currently using online family safety features. 
As kids of different ages use the internet in very different ways, instilling safe habits can be a challenge. So today, on Safer Internet Day, here are some tips to address the top three parental concerns when it comes to keeping our children safe online. 

1. Protect their digital identities. 
The privacy and security of their children’s information was the top concern of parents we surveyed across all regions. Parents cited concerns around scams or hacking of their child’s accounts. Here are some simple ways to safeguard your kids’ information: 
  • Teach your children how to choose strong passwords that cannot be easily guessed. Avoid simple passwords that use names, birthdates, or even favourite cartoon characters. 
  •  It is also useful to stick to platforms that have a strong reputation for user safety. For instance, using an email service like Gmail comes with built-in safety filters to detect phishing emails, blocking 99.9% of phishing attacks from ever reaching your inbox. 

2. Know who they talk to.
 
Social isolation is a difficult outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our children connect with their friends online, whether through messaging apps or voice chat while playing games. It is important for parents to be aware that these channels can also be used by ill-intentioned strangers to reach out to our children. Just as in real life, it is important to be aware of who our children talk to online. 
  • Try to talk to your kids about the games they play or the videos they watch, and also the people they play with online. I always remind my son to come to me immediately if he faces any situation online that makes him feel uncomfortable. More than 70% of parents in Asia-Pacific were not very confident that their children would come to them if they encountered unsafe situations online. Considering more than a third of the parents we interviewed had never spoken to their children about online safety we need to work hard to reassure our children that we are here to guide and protect them. 
  • When assessing if a game is suitable for your child, it is important to check not only the content of the game, but also whether the app allows online communications with others. Some multiplayer games allow only a few options for social interaction, like a thumbs up rather than a text chat. This reduces risks of unwanted social interactions by quite a lot. 

3. Offer appropriate content at the appropriate age. 
The fear of children encountering inappropriate content has long been among the top concerns of parents in surveys. There are family safety features that parents can use to help guard their children from content that may not be suitable for their age. However, we learned that only 50% of Aussie parents we surveyed are using these features. Here are some features that you can start using today: 
  • Turning on SafeSearch on Google helps filter out explicit content in Google’s search results for all searches, including images, videos and websites. SafeSearch is designed to help block explicit results like pornography from Google search results. 
  • Manage your child’s device by creating a Google account for your child and using Family Link. This allows you to add filters on Google Search, block websites or only give access to the ones you allow or track the location of your child if they have their own device. 
  • Many parental controls are available on YouTube Kids. You are able to limit screen time, only show videos that you approve or select suitable content based on the age of your child. 
Some other time-tested tips include allowing children to use the internet only in common areas in the home such as the living room. But the tough part is leading by example! 

At the end of the day, the core of parenting lies in the relationships we build with our children. They require our guidance on the internet as much as they do in the real world. 
Let’s work together to make the internet a safe place for our children to learn, create and explore. 

Marvel at Maria Island with today’s Google Doodle

January 26 stirs a full spectrum of emotions for Australians across the country. It can be a day of pride or protest. A day to rejoice, reflect or reexamine our history. Or for some, perhaps it’s just any old Tuesday.

Whatever the tone of the day, Australians are bound by a love for our land, the seas that surround us and our extraordinary wildlife. Now more than ever, we’ve been prompted to treasure our natural wonders – as this time last year, our heroic firefighters battled Australia’s worst raging bushfires in modern history. 


So, as we honour the many marvels of our island home today, we’re taking a virtual trip to a spectacular island just off Tassie, Maria Island. 

Maria island is home to a unique collection of mammal, marine, and avian species – and has been categorised as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. This includes one of Australia’s rarest birds and the star of today’s Google Doodle, the forty-spotted pardalote. This precious bird is about 9-10 cm long, with a light olive green body and distinctive white dots. It is depicted nestled in its natural habitat, the dry eucalypt forest where white gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) occurs. The tiny pardalote is the first Australian bird known to forage a sugary sap called manna by snipping the leaf stalks of gum trees. Maria Island supports the highest breeding population of forty-spotted pardalotes in Tasmania, which plays an important role in maintaining the forest’s vitality and managing insect pest populations. 

Whether you’re in Tassie or Townsville, we invite you to explore Maria Island on Street View and get inspired for your next trip. You can discover ancient clams, sea fans, corals of the Fossil Cliffs walk – and the vibrant colours and swirling patterns of the Painted Cliffs walk

Today’s Google Doodle was developed in collaboration with Tasmanian Aboriginal community and Elders. We respectfully acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal communities and Elders past and present.