Will there soon be a YouTube that’s just for kids? It’s starting to look that way. Google has just purchased app development company ‘Launchpad Toys,’ and Google has been rumoured before to be gearing up to create a YouTube that’s aimed at children.
The new app development purchase certainly makes it look like that rumour is true, and Launchpad Toys is well known for developing apps specifically for kids.
You may not have heard of Launchpad, but this app developer is behind a number of iOS apps that are for kids. If you haven’t heard of Launchpad but you have kids, you may know the ‘Toontastic’ brand of apps, which is part of the Launchpad company. Toontastic is the main brand for a number of children’s apps that are mostly of the storytelling sort, so Google’s purchase of an app developer that makes storytelling apps coincides with a new YouTube for kids, which is essentially a storytelling platform of sorts.
Launchpad is also behind a few iOS apps that are based on the movies Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. Then there’s the company’s ‘TeleStory’ app, which tells kids to “write, direct, and star in your own story.” Can you say future YouTube stars in the making? TeleStory originally launched with the company’s own online community that was dubbed ‘ToonTube.’ ToonTube allowed kids to upload different stories that they created, and to share those stories with their own communities. ToonTube has since been shut down, but that’s possibly to make way for Google’s version of a kid community, which is like to be under the YouTube brand.
Of course, the biggest concern with a YouTube site for kids is safety. Since the rumours about a potential YouTube for kids started to fly, Google has made it a point to indicate just how safe something like this would be. The new community would have strict parental controls, and would be hard for anyone to access that wasn’t part of an approved circle, so logic would seemingly dictate. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible for Google’s new YouTube to be any kind of a success, since most parents wouldn’t trust the company were it not completely safe.
If you do have kids, the news of a possible kid-centered YouTube channel shouldn’t surprise you too much. Some of YouTube’s most popular channels are most frequented by kids, and many kids today know how to work YouTube better than a lot of adults. You might say that YouTube has already been overrun by kids, so why not set up a site that’s all about kids? Google, like any other company, follows its biggest user based, and right now that user base is the under 10 crowd.
Some Possible Criticism
The only thing that Google has to watch out for (aside from security, of course) is that the company completely controls advertising and marketing associated with the new channel. Most parents won’t let kids watch shows that are filled with heavy advertisements - then again, advertising is what makes children’s television shows possible, and there are few complains about that kind of market.
Google is not currently commenting on the new acquisition, but you should hear about a new YouTube for kids by spring.