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Inside YouTube

Enabling a high quality kids experience & helping kids creators thrive on YouTube

  • By James Beser
  • Director of Product Management, YouTube Youth
  • Dec.16.2022
Since launching and enforcing our quality principles for kids and family content, viewership of content that reflects our high quality principles has increased by over 45% in the YouTube Kids app.
Enabling a high quality kids experience & helping kids creators thrive on YouTube
Since launching and enforcing our quality principles for kids and family content, viewership of content that reflects our high quality principles has increased by over 45% in the YouTube Kids app.

We built YouTube Kids to create a safer environment for kids to explore their interests, while giving parents the tools to customize the experience for their families. We want the app to allow for exploration and curiosity and we think it is important to give kids a diverse range of age-appropriate content: from Super Sema teaching us all about STEAM through creative problem solving to learning the mechanics of various machines through song with TwentyTrucks.

We have a responsibility to make the app great for kids. It’s not enough just to be safer for kids, we also want content they explore to be enriching. Children of different ages and their parents, should feel good when they use YouTube Kids—both in terms of the appropriateness of the content they watch as well as the quality of the content. While no system is perfect, we’ve put extensive resources into creating multiple layers of protection and lifting up high-quality content that helps kids learn and grow.

We have a responsibility to make the app great for kids. It’s not enough just to be safer for kids, we also want content they explore to be enriching.

To support this, we partnered with third-party experts in fields like child development, emerging media and digital wellbeing to create a set of quality principles for kids and family content. These best practices can help guide creators who create quality content for kids. They’re also intended to support child development and wellbeing by promoting things like being a good person through modeling respect or healthy habits, learning and curiosity, play and imagination and diversity. Our systems promote content in line with these principles, like Cosmic Kids Yoga, who encourages movement and mindfulness through storytelling.

“YouTube is setting an outstanding example for industry in its level of commitment to working through the challenges of supporting kids and families. Routinely collaborating with experts in child development and digital practice and activating the resulting insights into the development of products, is a unique approach to problem solving for children’s needs around the world. One in three new users of the internet is a child so it’s critical that platforms put children at the heart of their products. The numbers shared today show the impact of the collaboration with academic experts and how effectively it is changing the ecosystem for the better.” – Amanda Third, PhD, Professorial Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture & Society

We also published a set of low quality principles that clearly demonstrate themes that should be avoided in content creation. This content doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines, but includes things like heavily commercial content, content that encourages negative behaviors and sensational content, and is less likely to be recommended by our systems.

YT Kids Principles

In partnership with our creators, we’ve seen shifts in creator behavior toward higher quality content and storylines. For some creators, these shifts can be as simple as replacing junk food with healthy food or modeling good behavior.

These quality principles were developed in addition to our Community Guidelines and Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines. We use these principles to guide how we surface content in YouTube’s recommendations, include content in the YouTube Kids app and shape our monetization policies. Since we have begun to incorporate our quality principles into YouTube Kids recommendations, viewership of content that reflects our high quality principles has increased by over 45% in the app. And, in partnership with our creators, we’ve seen shifts in creator behavior toward higher quality content and storylines. For some creators, these shifts can be as simple as replacing junk food with healthy food or modeling good behavior.

In other cases, creators have reimagined their content strategy. Like TotoyKids, who moved to original, narrative-driven animation, partnering with UNICEF and winning international awards for their content along the way. One of the most visible examples of this shift has been from Ryan's World, formerly RyanToysReview, who has evolved their videos to showcase science experiments and other educational content.

“YouTube has been our homebase for over 7 years when we began uploading videos as Ryan’s Toy Reviews. But as our audience grew, we realized that we wanted to do more with the channel and offer fun, educational content for kids. Through partnership with YouTube and the introduction of their quality principles, we began to shift our focus to creating imaginative skits, science experiments and learning activities for kids, eventually rebranding the channel to reflect the updated nature of our content to Ryan’s World. Our audience has continued to grow even with this evolution and we’re proud to provide enriching content to our over 33M subscribers.” –Shion Kaji, producer and father or Ryan Kaji, Ryan’s World

At YouTube, when it comes to kids and families, our product and policy development is always centered on the safety and well-being of kids while helping them explore their curiosity on YouTube and YouTube Kids.