YouTube on January 6th of 2020, rolled out major changes in its privacy settings to secure digital experience for kids. The platform announced about bringing in these series of changes into its privacy column last September which got implemented now.
YouTube was quoted on their blog,
“Last September, we announced a series of changes to better protect kids and their privacy on YouTube and to address concerns raised by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).”
YouTube Studio Beta makes it a mandate for all brands and creators streaming on the platform to tag their content as made for kids or not made for kids. Anyone watching a video tagged as made for kids can provide data that will treated as coming from a child irrespective of their age.
What is considered as “made for kids”?
YouTube being partially sure about what content they must consider as “made for kids” have asked creators to designate own legal counsellors to help them with the same. After all it is the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that will expectedly enforce the guidelines.
The YouTube official blog also noted that,
“According to the FTC, a video is made for kids if it is intended for kids, taking into consideration a variety of factors. These factors include the subject matter of the video, whether the video has an emphasis on kid’s characters, themes, toys or games, and more.”
YouTube added a new feature to the creator studio called “new audience setting” that would help creators indicate whether or not their content is “made for kids”.
The platform also informs its creators that they can designate their own content as per their own choice considering the several factors mentioned in policy guidelines.
As creators know the content better, they hold sole authority over tagging it but YouTube will anyway provide machine learning to help further spot the Kid’s content. Creators can update a designation using the software on the platform if they think it is incorrectly reviewed.
Moreover, YouTube mentioned that,
“We will only override a creator designation if abuse or error is detected.”
What are the updates on YouTube?
Regarding Updates, YouTube writes,
“YouTube now treats personal information from anyone watching children’s content on the platform as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.”
The platform has bought in some changes that assist creators in uploading right content under the appropriate tag.
As per the new changes, YouTube creators will initially decide over if the content being uploaded is made for kids or not made for kids. They can also use the machine learning that checks the content for appropriacy.
The data collection and its use is limited on content made for kids which in turn disables several other product features. The platform would no longer support any feature such as comments, live chats, notification bells, stories, play-listing.
Made for kid’s content will no longer have personalized ads running on their ‘watch’ page. Ads will be shown based on the context of the video but in a less personalized way.
YouTube removes monetizing features such as Super Chat and Merch shelf that would need user information.
The platform is yet to launch many other privacy settings and updates to make it safer for underage users and improve their overall digital experience.
Regarding the changes made and launched on its platform, YouTube was quoted as,
“Many creators around the world have created quality kids content for their audiences, and these changes will have significant impact. We’re committed to helping creators navigate this new landscape and to supporting our ecosystem of family content. We’ll share more in the coming months.”
Continued investments in YouTube Kids
The platform recommends parents to use the YouTube kids section in case they would like to allow their children below 13 years of age to use the platform independently. They saw a surge in viewers after the launch of the app and are continuously witnessing an increase in the number of weekly users of YouTube kids.
They announced that the YouTube kids promotion ad will be seen on all made for kids content since the day of launch. The brand mentioned about launching a signed-in support for parents using which they can connect YouTube kids on several devices like smart TVs. This feature would allow parents to keep necessary check over their child’s digital exposure and control the experience over multiple surfaces.
YouTube concluded the announcement blog by saying,
“Responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and this includes protecting kids and their privacy. We’ve been significantly investing in the policies, products and practices to help us do this. Today’s changes allow us to do this even better and we’ll continue working to provide children, families and family creators the best experience possible on YouTube.”