YouTube's App for Kids Will Have Ads, Original Shows

YouTube Kids to Roll Out on February 23 for Android Phones, Tablets

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YouTube Kids will be available for Android devices on February 23.
YouTube Kids will be available for Android devices on February 23.

On Monday YouTube will roll out a kid-friendly version of the Google-owned online video service as a mobile app for smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system, a YouTube spokeswoman confirmed.

USA Today and The Wall Street Journal reported news of the app's launch on Thursday.

The free app will feature skippable and non-skippable pre-roll ads, according to a person familiar with the matter.

While the app will have ads, YouTube is limiting which ads make it into the app. YouTube's policy team will need to approve any ads to ensure they are family friendly. And people won't be able to click on the ads to navigate to an advertiser's website.

YouTube is also taking measures to make sure the app's content doesn't irk parents. Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, DreamWorks TV and National Geographic Kids are among the YouTube channels that will be included in the app. YouTube Kids will also feature original programming, such as an exclusive new series called "uTech" from the people behind "Reading Rainbow."

Kids will be able to browse channels and playlists in four categories: shows, music, learning and explore. They can also search for videos on specific topics -- like dinosaurs -- but parents will have the option to disable search. Parents can also turn off sound in the app and set a time limit for how long their kids can use it.

To further underscore how cautious YouTube is being with the app, the company tested it with a number of children's advocacy organizations such as Common Sense Media and the Family Online Safety Institute.

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