First of all, YouTubers can now mark their videos as made for kids or not using a new YouTube Studio option. A video counts as being made for kids “if it is intended for kids, taking into consideration a variety of factors. These factors include the subject matter of the video, whether the video has an emphasis on kids’ characters, themes, toys or games.” Google will also have a set of tools that can apply a rating, but the firm says that it’ll give discretion to creators and override only in cases of abuse.
YouTube will also treat all data from users watching children’s content as if it were being watched by a child, regardless of the user’s started age. When watching a video marked as for kids, you won’t see comments, live chat, notification bell, etc. The firm will also limit the data collected from such videos. Presumably, this is because children’s content could be watched on a parent’s device or with a family, and Google wants to be as thorough as it can.
Google’s best bet for kids is still the YouTube Kids app and the company still recommends it for children under 13. The content there is actively curated, despite a few hiccups, and all the data collection features are disabled in their entirety. Of course, kids may find it a little patronizing, but that’s up for parents to handle.