YouTube is setting up a $100 million fund dedicated to the creation of “thoughtful, original” children’s content for its platforms globally.
Earlier this week, Google and YouTube were ordered to pay $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General regarding the illegal collection of personal information from children. YouTube has acknowledged that the changes it will be making in response to this will have a “significant business impact on family and kids’ creators who have been building both wonderful content and thriving businesses,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a blog post.
For example, there are new data practices for children’s content on YouTube. Starting in four months, the platform will treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user. “This means that we will limit data collection and use on videos made for kids only to what is needed to support the operation of the service. We will also stop serving personalized ads on this content entirely, and some features will no longer be available on this type of content, like comments and notifications. In order to identify content made for kids, creators will be required to tell us when their content falls in this category, and we’ll also use machine learning to find videos that clearly target young audiences, for example those that have an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys or games.”
There are also improvements coming to YouTube Kids. “We continue to recommend parents use YouTube Kids if they plan to allow kids under 13 to watch independently. Tens of millions of people use YouTube Kids every week but we want even more parents to be aware of the app and its benefits. We’re increasing our investments in promoting YouTube Kids to parents with a campaign that will run across YouTube. We’re also continuing to improve the product. For example, we recently raised the bar for which channels can be a part of YouTube Kids, drastically reducing the number of channels on the app. And we’re bringing the YouTube Kids experience to the desktop.”
To help ease the impact, YouTube is giving creators four months to adjust before changes take effect. It is also establishing the $100 million fund, to be disbursed over three years.