Saturday, March 2, 2024

YouTube Kids app shutting down

It was reported that the YouTube Kids app was shutting down. Now, before parents (and grandparents) get upset by this, it's just the app that is shutting down, not the service (or feature).

Currently, there is a YouTube Kids app that presents an interface for kids, and filters content to make it suitable for children. The app is going away. The functionality is part of the YouTube app, and Google is focusing on that going forward.

The message from Google provides the basic information:

YouTube Kids is moving: In July, the YouTube Kids app icon on your TV will be going away. But, you can still use YouTube Kids on your TV by going to your child’s profile in the YouTube app.

To get started using this new experience, download the YouTube app on your smart TV, streaming device, or game console. Learn more about entering YouTube Kids through the YouTube app.

I understand why Google (who owns YouTube) is making the decision, but I really don't like it. To me, it seem easier for parents (and grandparents) to make an app available to a child, rather than trying to teach a child about profiles. This is particularly true for younger children.

Now, there will be children that previously didn't use the YouTube app (because they used the YouTube Kids app) that will be looking for kids content, and be on Mommy's profile or on Daddy's profile searching for stuff that will start showing up in Mommy or Daddy's suggestions.

Of course, maybe that's Google's idea. However, the whole idea of profiles to begin with is to keep the content and preferences separate. Children who don't understand that will just screw it up. Not on purpose, but because something they are used to will no longer work like it did.

This can all go horribly wrong. Well, not for the long haul, but for the short term, this will be a problem.

My Streaming Life doesn't involve young children much, as my youngest has children of his own. And, when they visit, I'll be watching TV with them. But at home, this could cause problems.

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