YouTube Follows Vine’s Footsteps with YouTube Kids App

Mallory Scudder | @MalloryScudder A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about Vine introducing “Vine Kids,” an app and kiddie-proof version of the 6-second video sharing platform minus the whole “social network” part. Well, it seems that YouTube liked the idea and has recently released its own copycat version and oh-so-cleverly named it YouTube Kids.

YouTube Kids is basically the same as Vine Kids. It has a simplified, bright design, a wide selection of kid-safe content, and even parental controls. The channels available on YouTube Kids are divided into four main categories — shows, music, learning, and explore — and include DreamWorks TV, Mother Goose Club, Reading Rainbow, National Geographic Kids, Sesame Street, and Thomas and Friends.

The highlight of the app is its parental controls. Parents can disable the search function and set limits on the amount of time children can use the app. YouTube Kids is also a “logged out” app, meaning there is no way a child can set up an account and access a selection of videos not already customized according to children’s viewing habits.

YouTube seems to have thought of everything with this app. Our only question is: what took Google so long? How did Vine beat YouTube to the punch in launching a kid-friendly app?

Considering how long YouTube has been around, Google is way behind the game in launching this. Both the iTunes store and Google Play store are filled with apps like Kid-safe Tube TV, YouTube Videos for Kids, and many others that developers built on top of YouTube. Now that the official version of YouTube Kids has launched, however, these knock-off apps are likely to lose a lot of downloads.

What do you think? Will YouTube Kids steal Vine Kids' thunder?