YouTube and YouTube Kids are two separate streaming platforms from Google for watching video content, but they are designed for different audiences. While YouTube Kids is designed for children, YouTube is designed for all kinds of audiences. There are notable differences between the two in terms of content selection and features too. Let’s check the key differences between YouTube Kids and YouTube.
Table of Contents
As the name suggests, YouTube Kids was designed for children from preschool age to 12 years. You need to select the age group for the kid as soon as you open the app. The app’s interface and features are specifically designed for young kids.
On the contrary, the main YouTube app caters to a broad range of audiences, including teenagers and adults. YouTube, however, does offer a supervised experience that you must set separately for kids under 13 where you can limit the videos that the kids can watch.
Tip: Learn how to set up supervision on Instagram.
Since the YouTube Kids app is designed for kids, you will find content that is made for kids. It has curated content like nursery rhymes, educational videos, stories, and similar content suitable for younger audiences.
On the other hand, you will find all kinds of content on the main YouTube app, some of which may not be suitable for kids.
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Design and User Interface
Both apps differ drastically in terms of their design. YouTube Kids has a simple yet colorful and attractive interface. It’s designed to be kid-friendly, so you will find large images, big, colorful, and fewer buttons in it for easier navigation. The main YouTube app, on the other hand, has a feature-rich interface with smaller buttons.
Furthermore, the YouTube Kids app automatically switches to landscape mode when you open the app. You cannot use the app in the Portrait mode. Once inside the app, you will find recommended videos at the bottom and categories at the top. There are four categories to choose from: Recommended, Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore.
Things are different in the YouTube app which can be used both in the landscape and portrait mode. There are no categories to choose from. You do get recommended tags at the top and other tabs like YouTube Shorts, Subscriptions, and Library at the bottom.
Sign In Types
You can use both apps with or without a Google account. For YouTube Kids, you must sign in with a parent’s account which gives you access to more features like the ability to create profiles for kids.
Tip: Know what is incognito mode on YouTube.
App Music and Sound Effects
YouTube Kids offers app sounds and effects for making the app attractive to kids. The app feels like a game with background music playing at times while you are deciding what to watch. You can turn this off in settings. The YouTube app doesn’t have app sounds.
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One of the benefits of the YouTube Kids app is that if you have many little ones, you can create a personalized profile for each kid. Each profile will have its own settings and personalized content based on the age group selected. You cannot create multiple profiles in the main YouTube app.
Comments and Likes
The YouTube Kids app does not include likes or comments on videos. This is done to prevent kids from viewing inappropriate comments. It’s no surprise that both likes and comments show in the main YouTube app.
Watch History and Activity
You can view the history of recently watched videos in both apps. What makes the YouTube Kids app different is that activity from the YouTube Kids app won’t be added to the parent’s watch history. So your own YouTube recommendations will not be messed up by colorful videos. But if you let your kid use the main YouTube app, your recommendations will be filled with kid’s videos.
Furthermore, YouTube offers features like Playlists, which are missing on the YouTube Kids app.
On the main YouTube app, kids can search for literally anything and the same would be shown to them, since the app doesn’t know if it’s the kid or the parent. Thankfully, the YouTube Kids app offers two interesting features related to the search. First, the search results will mostly show videos that are suitable for kids. Secondly, and more importantly, you can disable the search in the YouTube Kids app. That way your child cannot search for videos. If they want to, they will need to enter the password of the parent’s Gmail account first.
The YouTube Kids app offers a built-in timer function so that the kids can use the app only for a set time. You can set a time limit between 1 to 60 minutes after which the app locks automatically. There is no timer feature in the YouTube app.
Ability to Block Videos
The YouTube Kids app makes it extremely easy to block unwanted videos. YouTube, on the other hand, doesn’t offer a direct way to block videos. You can report the video, suggest YouTube not to recommend the channel, or hide it from your recommended videos.
The YouTube Kids app offers many parental control features. For starters, you must get past a lock screen or custom code even for changing app settings. Once inside settings, you can enable/disable casting or search, change age group, unblock videos, pause watch history, set a secret code for kids’ profiles, and much more.
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Like the regular YouTube app, the YouTube Kids app does support casting to a larger screen. So you can watch videos from the YouTube Kids app on a TV screen.
Both apps show ads while watching videos. However, the frequency is slightly low in the YouTube Kids app. Even more importantly, the ads in the Kids app go through a review process and hence are curated to be suitable for children. This isn’t the case in the YouTube app where you can see all kinds of ads.
Both apps are free to use on all platforms. You don’t have to pay any subscription fees. However, YouTube does have a premium subscription that lets you get rid of ads and offers the ability to play in the background among other features. If the parent account has YouTube Premium, the same can be used on YouTube Kids where you get an ad-free experience and the ability to play offline videos.
Tip: Learn how to download videos from YouTube.
Both apps are available on Android and iPhones. You can also view them on the web. However, YouTube Kids is available in limited countries only.
Which App Is Safe
Overall, YouTube Kids is a safer and more child-friendly alternative to the main YouTube app. However, it’s not 100% safe. You should always supervise and monitor what your kids are watching online, even on YouTube Kids as young children have extremely impressionable minds. Before you go, check the best reading apps for kids.