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With Google TV, parents can now create watch lists for their children

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Google TV added kid profiles to the platform in 2021, giving young viewers their own portal designed to show age-appropriate content only. Today, the company is building on kid profiles with new features, including parent-managed watchlists, home screen recommendations, and supervised use of the regular YouTube app. All of these software capabilities are rolling out today and will also reach Google TV customers in the coming weeks.

Managed Watchlists are just what they sound like: parents can add movies and TV shows to a universal watchlist that appears on the child’s Google TV home screen. This makes it easy for them to move from one video to another. Adding content to a kid’s profile is easy: just select a movie or TV show as you normally would, hit the watchlist button and choose the appropriate account.

Parents can add age-appropriate content that is easily accessible to children.
Image: Google

Google also brings specific content recommendations directly to the kid’s profile home screen. So far, that home screen has just displayed several kid-friendly streaming apps, but without the actual recs that appear on adult accounts. According to the company, these recommendations are “based on the apps you’ve added and the rating settings you’ve set.” Google notes that it’s easy to hide anything you don’t want to appear on the home screen anymore.

And finally, Google is trying to create a natural pipeline to move young viewers of YouTube Kids up and down and let them use the regular YouTube app — with adult supervision. “If you have older kids in your home who are ready to leave YouTube Kids, Google TV now supports a YouTube supervised experience so they can explore more of what YouTube has to offer with their Google TV kid profile,” Google says. TV product manager Saleh Altayyar wrote in today’s blog post. “This experience comes with content settings for pre-teens and older, customizes the features your child can use, and lets you block channels and manage additional controls through the YouTube mobile app.”

Opening up the entire YouTube vault to younger users seems like the biggest bet of Google’s new moves, but there’s nothing forcing parents to take that step until they’re ready. These new kid-centric features come along with a redesigned Family Link app that Google is introducing today. The new version makes it easier and faster to find commonly used tools and features, and there’s now a Highlights tab that “shows a snapshot of your child’s app usage, screen time, and recently installed apps.”

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