YouTube Kids app launches in UK and Ireland for child-friendly videos

YouTube is launching its YouTube Kids app in the UK and Ireland, nine months after its child-friendly service went live in the US.

More than 10 million American parents have downloaded the app, which serves up a filtered selection of videos and channels that are appropriate for children.

The app also removes social features like comments and the ability to upload videos; has a built-in timer to limit how long children can use it; and blocks inappropriate search terms including “sex”.

The UK and Irish version of YouTube Kids emphasises local channels, including famous children’s brands like Morph, Teletubbies, Wallace & Gromit and The Magic Roundabout.

However, they sit alongside digital brands like nursery-rhymes channel Little Baby Bum, Minecraft gamer Stampy and app-inspired cartoon series Talking Tom and Friends.

As in the US, the app is a free download for Android and iOS devices, but will make its money from advertisements running in between the videos.

That has been controversial in the US, with several consumer-rights organisationscalling for regulator the Federal Trade Commission to investigate YouTube Kidsover its use of ads.