Everyone knows that YouTube is a video sharing application that makes it easier to search and watch videos online. YouTube was founded by three early PayPal employees – Chad Hurley, Lawed Karim, and Steve Chen. The story starts in 2004 with Janet Jackson’s performance at the Super Bowl and the incident that became YouTube’s first inspiration. The second inspiration came from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, both of the videos that were not easily found online.
The idea for YouTube was developed in the early months of 2005 after the three had difficulties sharing videos shot at a party. The party incident strengthened their inspiration to create YouTube, and on 14th February 2005, the famous YouTube domain was activated. When YouTube was officially launched, it didn’t have much market recognition. Now, it is one of the most popular sites on the web, with more than 6 billion hours of YouTube views in a month.
What are the key benefits of YouTube?
YouTube has experienced immense growth over the past years, with several users subscribing the YouTube channels for their benefit. Some of the key benefits include:
- YouTube offers you an option to create your account that allows you to upload and share videos of 15 minutes length. You can also share videos of more than 15 minutes if you verify your account.
- You can create a movie with music and other features using the YouTube edit facility.
- The YouTube privacy settings let you restrict who views your videos.
- You can search the archive for your favorite video clips.
- You can comment and rate the movies you have watched.
- You can also watch a full-length feature film on the site using your computer.
- If you have missed any program on TV, you can watch them via ‘channels’ like 4oD.
- YouTube also offers caption and subtitle facilities. You can also take advantage of YouTube’s 3D and high-definition capabilities.
Film and television companies block the illegal sharing of their programs by maintaining tight control over their content. But YouTube allows repeats of recently aired shows and high-quality trailers to its fans.
What content can you find on YouTube?
When YouTube was created, the main intention was to share original videos. But over time, several different types of content were uploaded by YouTube subscribers. These contents include:
1) Product review: These videos are the most popular video type of YouTube. Product reviews on YouTube allow the viewers to see how a product performs, as well as hear feedback from a creator of the product.
2) How-To videos: They are the perfect combination of utility and education. There are many channels dedicated solely to this video type and have millions of real YouTube subscribers.
3) Vlogs: Vlogs are authentic video formats that get millions of views for their originality and authenticity. Many influencers incorporate vlogging into their channel and see a lot of success as well.
4) Gaming Videos: If you love games, then you surely must be a gaming channel subscriber on YouTube. It is one of the most popular formats to subscribe to.
5) Comedy and skits: They are the liveliest video format, and one among the videos that get the highest YouTube views.
6) Challenge or Tag videos: They are hugely popular on YouTube, and it allows users to watch numerous creators do a similar challenge in their unique way.
7) Cartoons and Kids videos: Cartoons are not just created for kids, but for adults as well that are available on YouTube.
8) Haul videos: They are incredibly popular among brands that rely on hauls to show their newest products.
9) Educational videos: Apart from cartoons that are suitable for children, YouTube also offers educational videos.
10) Unboxing videos: They are a favorite among YouTube subscribers as they have become a crucial way for viewers to make purchase decisions.
These are only a few types of video content that real YouTube subscribers prefer and watch. There are many more video types on YouTube that viewers watch and share. But the most important question that needs answering is, how can you make YouTube child-friendly? How can you ensure that children do not access adult content? How can they be protected?
Things to keep in mind while posting child content on your YouTube channel
YouTube is a website created to share videos. But the video content varies to the extent that it is suitable to all age groups, from infants to the old. Is YouTube appropriate for all age groups? It is important to note that YouTube is not appropriate for all, especially for children aged thirteen and below. To ensure that YouTube is age-appropriate, Google launched YouTube Kids in 2015.
Do you own a YouTube Channel? If you are a YouTube subscriber, then you will be aware that YouTube Kids is a separate version of YouTube. The difference is that YouTube Kids is squarely focused on posting age-appropriate kids’ content. It limits the world of content to family-friendly videos and channels and educational clips. YouTube Kids application’s interface features colorful icons, large images, and carefully chosen promotional videos on the main homepage.
- How does YouTube Kids work?
YouTube Kids is a free application that needs parents to set it up the first time. You will sign-in with your Google account, and as a parent, you will be asked to give consent to the Terms of Service. You will then create an account for your child, and your child can access millions of kid-appropriate videos. You can also create more accounts if you have two or more kids. Once you create an account, all you have to do is choose who will watch, select the account, and hand over the device to the child. The contents in YouTube Kids are age-appropriate, and you can be assured that your child will not stumble upon anything that they must not.
- Determining whether the content is suitable for kids
There are several guidelines while posting child content on your YouTube channel. Regardless of where you are from, what your profession is, what you like, and how you raise your children, YouTube requires all creators to tell whether the content is made for children or not. You must comply with the COPPA or Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. YouTube has made an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission to ensure that everyone complies with the applicable law.
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s guidance on COPPA, a video is ‘made for children’ if children are the primary audience based on:
- The subject matter of the video, such as educational content
- Whether the video includes child models and/or actors
- Whether children are the actual or intended audience
- Whether the content includes celebrities, characters, toys that appeal to children
- Whether the language used in the video is intended for children
- Whether the activities included in the video is intended and suitable for children
- Whether the video includes stories, songs, poems and such that appeals to children
- Whether the content is advertised to children and whether the advertisements are suitable for children
If your content includes some of these factors, it does not automatically mean that the video is ‘made for kids.’ You must also consider who your target audience is- ‘Children!’ You must evaluate your content further and must be able to offer the content appropriately.
How can you evaluate your content further?
As per the guidelines set forth by Federal Trade Commission, your content is ‘made for kids’ if it features characters, actors, activities, songs, stories, games, or other subject matters that mirror a purpose to target children. But content is not made for children just because:
- It is family-friendly or safe and appropriate for everyone to watch
- It covers an activity that is habitually associated with children
- Children may incidentally view it
It is important to consider who you are trying to reach and evaluate your content accordingly. Make sure you do not post any content on your channel as ‘made for kids’ if it fits any of the descriptions below.
- Sexually explicit videos featuring minors
- Videos that show a minor participating in or encouraging dangerous activities
- Contents of emotional distress that include violence, coercing minors, simulating parental abuse, and divulging minors to mature themes.
- Content that contains sexual themes, violence, obscenity that targets young minors and families
- Family-friendly cartoons that contain adult or age-inappropriate themes such as sex, violence, and such.
- Videos of cyberbullying and harassment involving children or minors that
- Reveals personal information
- Encourages others to harass or bully
- Targets individuals for humiliation or abuse
- Sexually harasses
- Records without consent
It is important to note that if your content that is ‘made for kids’ violates any of the guidelines, your content will be removed and a warning sent to you and your channel terminated after three strikes.