For years Canadian families have turned to YouTube to ask questions, explore the world around them, and be entertained from nursery rhymes to the shows we love. And today people have spent more hours watching Wheels on the Bus on YouTube, than Psy’s Gangnam Style!
Today, we’re launching YouTube Kids in Canada - an app built with parents and children in mind that makes it easier for kids to find videos on topics they want to explore. Since we launched YouTube Kids in the US, it’s been downloaded more than 10 million times by families who rate it among the top kids apps available. This local version of YouTube Kids puts the content we love in Canada front and centre - think Wild Kratts at the touch of a button and Treehouse Direct on hand to answer tricky questions from curious minds. It’s our first step in reimagining YouTube for families and it’s now available to download for free on Google Play and the App Store. Here are some of the key features:
Bright and playful design
Your 4-year-old may already be a swiping expert, but the app’s design makes it even easier for little thumbs to navigate with larger images and bold icons. And we’ve built in voice search so that even if your child can’t spell or type, they can still find videos of things they’re curious about.
We’ve built the YouTube Kids app to be a safer version of YouTube, a family-friendly place for kids to explore their imagination and curiosity. You can browse channels and playlists in four categories: Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. Your favourite shows like Teletubbies, HooplaKidz, Thomas the Tank Engine, and National Geographic Kids are in YouTube Kids. You’ll also find popular content from Canadian producers and broadcasters such as Kids' CBC, Super Simple Songs and TVO Kids.
We’ve built options into the app that help you control the experience for your kids and put parents in the driving seat.
- Learn how the app works: When parents open YouTube Kids, they learn upfront how our systems choose and recommend content and how to flag videos. We always try to make the videos available in the app family-friendly, but no system is perfect. So if you ever find a video you’re concerned about, please flag it. This helps make YouTube Kids better for everyone.
- Search settings: We’ll also prompt you to make a choice about how broadly you want your child to explore - turn search on to access millions of family-friendly videos, or turn search off to restrict your child’s experience to a more limited set. Either way, parents decide the right experience for their family from the get-go.
- Timer: Let the app be the bad guy with a built-in timer that lets you limit kids’ screen time. The app alerts your child when the session is over, so you don’t have to. (You’re welcome. ;)
- Sound settings: Sometimes you need a little peace and quiet! You have an option to turn off background music and sound effects, so your kids can keep watching while you catch a breath.
- Custom passcode: Parents have the ability to set their own passcode, and to access settings and other parental information in the app.
- Logged out experience: The app is currently a signed-out experience with no ties to an account. We’ve also removed all features that are linked to an account like uploading, sharing, liking, etc.
YouTube Kids on the big screen:
You can now also watch YouTube Kids as a family on your big screen using Chromecast, Apple TV, game consoles or a smartTV.
We’re so excited to bring YouTube Kids to Canada, and look forward to your ideas too so that we can better help your family explore, learn and sing along. From our family to yours, happy exploring!
Angela Y. Lin, Head of Kids and Learning for North America, YouTube, recently watched “The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain”