As part of an effort to keep younger users safer online, YouTube just announced a supervised account option for parents of tweens and teens. The account option is available to parents who are ready for their kids to explore what’s on YouTube with a little peace of mind they won’t be exposed to inappropriate content.
YouTube already has a dedicated app for kids—YouTube Kids—but decided it needs to continue offering the same kind of protection for tweens and teens who still aren’t ready to see age-restricted content and other weird stuff on the site. YouTube has always been a platform for people over 13, but given that today’s kids are growing up in the most digital era to date, these supervised accounts offer a much-needed solution, allowing tweens and teens to still have access to the site while keeping them safe.
These supervised accounts give parents three control settings to choose from: Explore, Explore More, and Most of YouTube. Explore is for kids ready to move on from YouTube Kids, and includes a broad range of suitable for kids aged 10-12 including tutorials, vlogs, educational content, gaming videos, music clips, and more. Explore More offers suitable content for teens age 13 and up, including a broader selection of videos along with live streams in the same categories as Explore. Lastly, Most of YouTube contains nearly all videos on the site except for age-restricted content.
The three options offer some wiggle room for varying parenting styles and each child’s unique developmental stage and capacity to handle content. At launch, YouTube will also disable in-app purchases for these accounts along with creation and comments features, though over time it will work with parents and experts to add some of these features back in through a age-appropriate and parent controlled approach.
Through Google’s Family Link, parents will also have access to additional tools like the ability to manage watch and search history, set up screen timers, and eventually even content blocking. Even with these supervised accounts, YouTube still recommends that parents continue to stay involved in guiding and supporting their child’s experience on the site.