YouTube is looking to broaden its audience by introducing a version of its service designed just for kids. YouTube Kids, as the Android app is called, will feature age-appropriate videos and a simplified design that even toddlers can use.
The app, announced Friday, will feature four sections of videos -- Shows, Music, Learning and Explore -- with minimal text and voice search, making it easy to navigate. YouTube Kids will also come with a timer control so that parents can limit how much time their children spend on it.
The free, ad-supported (with kid-targeted ads) app is set to launch on Monday. "Parents were constantly asking us: Can you make YouTube a better place for our kids," Shimrit Ben-Yair, group product manager for YouTube Kids, told USA Today.
By not requiring users to sign in, the app is consistent with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and will allow YouTube to tap into the 13 and younger market. It'll also be a bullying-free environment as it is designed for watching only, meaning it can't be used to upload videos or post comments.
When a video ends, the new YouTube Kids app will automatically play another one, according to CNN Money. This feature is part of YouTube's focus in recent years to get users to stick around and increase their watch time. On the desktop version of YouTube, the company has been testing a similar feature called "What's next" with about 25 percent of its users. It works in a manner similar to the way Netflix plays a new episode when users are watching a series.