Weeks after Instagram announced that all users under the age of 18 would have private profiles by default, YouTube is making similar moves.
Going forward, YouTube creators aged 13 to 17 will have their default video upload settings set to private, James Beser, YouTube’s director of product management for kids and family, wrote in a company blog post. Private uploads are only viewable to other users who are manually selected by creators — though YouTube notes that settings can be switched to public at any time. YouTube will continue to provide reminders to young users about a video’s viewability status.
Also by default, YouTube will be turning on ‘take a break‘ and bedtime reminders for users aged 13 to 17, and turning off the autoplay function — though all of these settings can be changed at any time as well.
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And within YouTube Kids, the company’s dedicated app for users under age 13, YouTube is adding an autoplay option, but turning it off by default. That said, in coming months, a new control will enable parents to ‘lock’ autoplay settings for their childrens’ accounts, turning it either on or off.
Finally, YouTube says it will begin to remove “overly commercial content” from YouTube Kids, noting that it has never allowed sponsored videos on the platform. Going forward, “videos that only focus on product packaging or directly encourage children to spend money” will be barred as well, the company said.
To this end, on the flagship YouTube platform, the company has recently updated the kinds of disclosures that accompany sponsored content that is intended for kid viewers. The disclosures, created alongside child development experts, appear in easy-to-understand text and feature animated videos (below) that explain how paid placements function.