Last Updated on 2nd October 2023

YouTube has officially announced that it will be launching new parental control settings
over the next few months.

What do we know?

YouTube announced that they will be launching a range of new settings designed for the parents of teens and pre-teens. These new settings are designed to provide a safer experience that allows children to access YouTube through a supervised Google Account.

The new features will be launched in ‘beta’, so not all parents and account holders will immediately be offered the experience. The new style of accounts will also disable certain features usually found on YouTube.

Through a selected Google Account, parents and guardians will be able to choose the content settings options that they feel best suits their child(ren). They will also be able to manage the watch and search history and use other safety settings through Google’s Family Link.

YouTube has always been a platform for people aged over 13 years old. Back in 2015, YouTube launched YouTube Kids, a version of YouTube designed especially for children under the age of 13 years old. However, YouTube says that feedback they were receiving from parents found YouTube kids wasn’t meeting the needs of their and teens and pre-teens 

There are three new content settings available for the parents and carers. They are:

1. ‘Explore’

This setting is designed for children who feel ready to move on from YouTube Kids and explore YouTube. It has a range of videos suitable for ages 9+, including music clips, educational content, news, gaming, and more.

2. ‘Explore More’

This option offers and adds to the same set of videos as ‘Explore’ but additionally lets viewers access content suitable for a 13+ audience and live streams.

3. ‘Most of YouTube’

Does what it says on the tin! Aside from age-restricted content, a child whose parent or carer has put them on this setting will have access to almost all videos on the platform. YouTube says that the decision about which videos are included under which category will be determined by a mix of machine learning, human review and user input.

New Safety Features

YouTube has disabled certain standard features found on normal accounts.

  • Personalised advertising won’t be used
  • Ads from particular categories, like beauty and weight loss related adverts, won’t be shown
  • In-app purchases, comments and creation will be disabled

What should you be aware of?

As with all features of social media platforms, there can be significant risks for children and young people:

  • This will be rolled out in ‘beta’. That means that not everyone will initially be allowed to take part
  • Machines make mistakes – as YouTube will be relying on machine learning, there is a risk of error, meaning that children could potentially be exposed to unsuitable material

  • Humans make mistakes too! – there may be issues that beta testers don’t pick up on or flag

So far, YouTube hasn’t given a release date for when the new settings will be rolled out. Our team of online safety experts will be keeping an eye out for any new updates so watch this space!


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