As adults, we love YouTube for the multitude of varied content but as parents, we’ve been concerned about our kids’ safety. We’ve trusted the YouTube Kids app to keep them safe for years. But if your tween or teen is growing up and out the kids app, YouTube supervised experiences is a new option that encourages more independent exploration in a safe way.
About YouTube Supervised Experiences
The wealth of videos from content creators around the world makes YouTube a rich place to learn. It can also be a bit anxiety producing for us parents who aren’t quite ready to let them be fully independent in the digital world.
Supervised experiences on YouTube is a new option for parents who want their kids to be a little more independent but in a safe way. It provides far more videos than the YouTube Kids app and gives every parent the choice about what content they want their kids to see.
Parents can choose between the following 3 content settings based on what’s right for their family and kids:
- Explore: Explore is for children ready to move on from YouTube Kids and explore content on YouTube. This setting features a broad range of videos generally suitable for viewers ages 9+. It includes vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content and more.
- Explore More: Explore More features content generally suitable for viewers ages 13+. This setting provides access to an even larger set of videos and live streams.
- Most of YouTube: Some tweens and teens are ready for more so Most of YouTube is a setting that will contain almost all videos on YouTube. It includes sensitive topics that may only be appropriate for older teens but does not include age-restricted content.
Supervised experiences also provide limited features and built in digital wellbeing protections.
How YouTube Supervised Experiences Differ from Regular YouTube
Your child’s experience will look like YouTube’s flagship app and website. There are safety in place for content they can find and watch, features they can use, default account settings, and ads.
The videos they can watch depend on the content setting you select for their supervised account when granting them permission to use YouTube. Some features normally available in YouTube (such as comments and live chat, the abilities to create a channel, upload content, and make purchases) will be disabled.
Automatic reminders will appear for breaks and bedtime. These can be adjusted to reinforce healthy screen time habits. YouTube’s autoplay feature will be off by default as well.
Safety of Content on YouTube Supervised Experiences
YouTube’s machine learning systems work together with human reviewers to detect and remove harmful content. While their systems work hard to prevent inappropriate content, they’re not perfect and will make mistakes. The company acknowledges that mistakes happen and some inappropriate content will appear.
YouTube Community Guidelines outline what is and isn’t allowed on all of YouTube— not just within supervised experiences.
YouTube recognizes that some videos may be unsuitable for kids. They suggest that if parents prefer a more limited experience, YouTube Kids may be a better option.
Conversations to Have with Kids Before They Use YouTube Supervised Experiences
If you do decide that your child is ready to explore the universe of content on YouTube through a supervised experience, it’s important to have a conversation about safety.
The free Exploring YouTube Confidently guide provides helpful conversation starters about safety to have with your tween or teen before exploring YouTube more independently.
As parents, we’re constantly making decisions based on our parenting styles, family values, and knowing our kids. We appreciate when the brands we love recognize that there’s not just one way to parent. Supervised Experiences by YouTube lets every family make decisions based on what’s right for them.
The YouTube Kids app has improved dramatically over the years to become a safer experience that gives parents more control. Kids have come to rely on the app but as they’ve grown up, parents have wondered what’s next.
I love that YouTube’s Supervised Experiences is a great next step for families whose kids are ready to do a bit more exploring but in a safe way. Increased independence online is a conversation that every family will need to have but Parent Supervised Experiences helps reduce some of the anxiety that comes with giving up a little more control over the YouTube content our kids are consuming.
YouTube Supervised Experiences is in beta and will launch later this month.
I am a member of the YouTube Kids Parent Panel but am not compensated for my involvement. All opinions are my own and based on personal experience. This post first appeared on TechSavvyMama.com. If you are reading this post on a site other than TechSavvyMama.com this means the website you are on is violating copyright laws.