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YouTube Kids app gets new controls

YouTube's child-friendly app is set to get new parental controls.

The video streaming giants launched their YouTube Kids app in 2015 to make browsing online videos "safer and simpler for kids," but since its release it has received backlash for allowing unsuitable adverts to be shown on videos, as well as failing to filter out certain inappropriate content.

According to Gizmodo, Google - who own YouTube - are now addressing the problems with expanded parental controls for the YouTube Kids app, which are available to Android users starting on Friday (14.09.18), and are "coming soon" to iPads and iPhones.

Parents can now pick the specific videos, channels, or groups of channels they want their kids to have access to, and by setting the app to "approved content only", children won't be able to view anything that their parents haven't already deemed okay for them to watch.

The changes are also completely optional, so parents who are happy with the app as it is don't need to fiddle with the existing filters YouTube provide.

In a blog post published by YouTube, they wrote: "Today we're excited to launch two updates we think families will really enjoy: parent-approved content and a new experience for older kids.

"First, we're following up on our April announcement and sharing that we've launched parent-approved content. This highly requested parental control allows parents to handpick every video and channel available to their child in the app. It is available today globally on Android and coming soon to iOS."

The app now also features an "Older" mode, which is geared toward children aged 8 to 12 who might want to watch popular music and gaming videos which wouldn't be suitable for younger children.

But YouTube adds the system may not be perfect, as they can't cater to each parent's individual requirements.

They wrote: "We work hard to make videos in the app family friendly, but no system is perfect. It's always possible that a parent may find something they don't want their child to watch in the "Younger" or "Older" experiences. If this happens, we ask that parents block and flag the video for review by our team. This makes YouTube Kids better for everyone."

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