Nowadays and in most countries, children as young as preschool age prefer watching YouTube videos over watching traditional TV shows. Since Google, which now owns YouTube, bars children 12 years old and below from viewing traditional YouTube channels, it made sense for the company to come out with the YouTube Kids app,
The Advent of the YouTube Kids App Changed Children’s Viewing Preference
Now more than ever, kids prefer watching YouTube videos, because unlike watching regular TV shows, they can simply click on “Skip Ad” rather than watch a commercial ad in its entirety. Don’t be surprised to hear preschoolers asking their parents to “skip ad” please, when watching a child-oriented show in a regular TV channel.
On their part, parents are more at ease in having their children watch YouTube videos for kids, since the YouTube Kids app not only curates content appropriate for children 12 years old and below. It also furnishes parents control features that allowed them to manage how their kids can access and view YouTube videos.
Through a Family Link, parents can select a content level based on their child’s age whether for “Younger,” “Older (for ages 8 to 12)” or “Approved Content Only.” Since children using their own devices, usually tablets, have to download the YouTube Kids app, parental control features include turning the “Search” function on or off, as well as block or unblock channels they deem inappropriate for their child’s viewing.
One thing, which Google overlooked though, are the “cookies” to collect personal information or identifiers to monitor and determine what a child watches. The problem seen by critics of the YouTube Kids app, is that data are being collected without parental consent.
The contention is that Google and YouTube are earning millions of dollars by using data to deliver ads targeting children. Nonetheless, this particular issue has been corrected; albeit Google and YouTube had to pay a hefty record fine of $170 million. The amount was paid as part of extra-judicial settlement of a lawsuit filed by federal and state agencies tasked to enforce the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA.
The Rise of Kid Influencers as Alternative Strategy in Promoting Brands
Inasmuch as kids are also on the lookout for new toys or gadgets, they watch YouTube videos of other children unboxing toys as subject of reviews. As a matter of fact, the “Ryan ToysReview” now “Ryan’s World” channel, garnered a following of more than 21 million subscribers, which made Ryan Kaji, now eight years old, the highest earning kid influencer in 2018.
Kid influencers are making quite an impact not only by unboxing toys but also by wearing clothing and accessory brands for kids. What they do, the food they eat and the gadgets they use became important because millions of children across the globe want to emulate them. Ordinary kids blogging about their day-to-day life, their family and their activities have become the new generation of YouTube sensations. All that a child influencer has to do is to do things that make them happy in the most natural ways.
Their parents are of course, behind the video cameras and the photo shoots, as well as management of their social media accounts. The influencer space has become highly competitive, some seek assistance from social media marketers like SMM World (https://www.smm-world.com/) as a way to kickstart their child’s YouTube channel.