Quartz: Facebook debuts Messenger Kids, an ad-free app that gives parents control. “Technically, children under the age of 13 aren’t allowed on Facebook. But many kids manage to sign up for Facebook and Instagram quite easily, making them vulnerable to all of the internet’s dangers. Now Facebook is rolling out a platform that will allow children to use one of its services—with plenty of parental supervision. Opening up a massive new pool of users, the company is introducing Messenger Kids, a standalone app that lets kids communicate with their family and friends.”
TechCrunch: Jellies is a kid-friendly, parent-approved alternative to YouTube Kids. “As YouTube reels from a series of scandals related to its lack of policing around inappropriate content aimed at children, obscene comments on videos of children, horrifying search suggestions, and more, a new app called Jellies has arrived to offer parents a safer way to let their kids watch videos on mobile devices.”
Digital Trends: Sorry kid, access denied: Our favorite, free parental control software. “Most kids these days are well versed in the tech-savvy art of computing. Many of us wouldn’t mind a little assistance when it comes to curtailing cyberbullying, blocking inappropriate websites, or simply limiting our childrens’ computer usage — for many, it now hovers around eight hours a day. Thankfully, there is plenty of free parental control software available to help.”
Salon: A parent’s ultimate guide to YouTube kids. “So many kids love watching videos on YouTube, it seemed like a slam dunk for Google to create a special app specifically for the online video service’s youngest fans. And while YouTube Kids offers a colorful, easy-to-navigate environment, a wide range of high-quality videos, a few parental controls, and fun features for kids, it’s been dogged by concerns over its advertising, branded content, and inappropriate clips slipping through the curation process. So is YouTube Kids right for kids — or not?”
YouTube Blog: Introducing kid profiles, new parental controls, and a new exciting look for kids, which will begin rolling out today!. “After talking to parents all over, we know that kids who love the YouTube Kids app are getting older and want a platform that’ll grow with them. Whether kids are watching Monster High, DC Kids, LEGO, learning their ABCs, or picking up the latest tricks in Minecraft, we want YouTube Kids to help.”
ReviewGeek: PSA: Parents, YouTube Is Littered with Creepy Pseudo “Kid-Friendly” Videos. “The issue recently came to our attention when a friend with small children mentioned that he was increasingly finding very weird videos, on both the general YouTube site and on the YouTube Kids app, while searching for kid-friendly content. What kind of weird? Dozens and dozens of videos that looked otherwise kid-friendly but with popular characters acting violent, getting hurt, or engaging in inappropriate behavior no parent would want their child to emulate.” Kind of surprised these would end up on YouTube Kids.
Google Blog: Family fun with your Google Assistant on Google Home and phones. “The Google Assistant now has more than 50 new games, activities and stories designed for families with kids. Now you can learn, play and imagine together—available today in the U.S. with the Assistant on Google Home, other smart speakers and eligible phones.”