Ahead of the US Federal Trade Commission’s official announcement of a settlement with YouTube, the video giant is going to launch its YouTube Kids service on the web for the first time. Previously a kid-friendly app available on mobile devices, YouTube Kids has more than 14 million monthly active viewers and is available in 43 countries.
The traditional YouTube site will have an age-gate that redirects any kids under the age of 13 to a separate kid-friendly site. It will be live later this week, but no date has been announced.
The AVOD is also adding age filters to YouTube Kids, allowing parents to set the content to “preschool” (ages four and under) with videos in this section designed to promote creativity; “younger” (five to seven), which will include content such as songs, cartoons and crafts; and “older” (eight to 12), where videos on gaming, science, family vlogs and more music will become available.
Previously the only filter option on YouTube Kids was “older,” which launched last year.
YouTube didn’t return a request for comment on how this will affect content creators and who will decide the age designation for each video. The company did say in a release that while its system works to exclude content not suitable for these age categories, not all videos are manually reviewed.
The FTC is looking into whether YouTube breached COPPA, and recently reached a settlement with YouTube but hasn’t released the terms to the public yet. The company is expected to pay a multimillion-dollar fine as part of the settlement, according to the Washington Post. But it is not clear whether launching the web platform was a part of its deal with the FTC.