As YouTube reels from a series of scandals associated to its miss of policing around inapt calm directed at children, pornographic comments on videos of children, offensive hunt suggestions, and more, a new app called Jellies has arrived to offer relatives a safer way to let their kids watch videos on mobile devices.
Jellies was built by Ken Yarmosh, founder of Savvy Apps, which has been making mobile apps for years, mostly for clients like PBS, NFL, Homesnap, Navient, Levi’s, and others, in further to passion projects like mobile calendar app Agenda and Today Weather.
As a parent, Yarmosh says he, too, was cheerless by the problems with YouTube that have recently come to light – namely, that permitting an algorithm to foreordain what kids should watch will not lead to the safest environment.
“My oldest child is now five-and-a-half, but when he was two and three, he would adore examination videos as many kids do,” explains Yarmosh. “YouTube became fundamentally a non-starter since of the ads and him veering into things he shouldn’t very easily. Once YouTube Kids came out, we suspicion that would be the solution, so we kind of suspended the suspicion of Jellies,” he says.
But Yarmosh shortly satisfied that YouTube Kids wasn’t working, either. His child was frightened by videos for older kids (like one for “Hotel Transylvania 2”); he became spooky with fondle unboxings and egg surprises heading him to desire for toys; and he watched YouTube stars who demonstrated bad behavior, which impacted the way he acted.
These problems led to the origination of Jellies.
Its solution is finish human curation of video content, total with a concentration on videos that concede kids to try their world, instead of being force-fed videos designed to promote consumerism, distraction, and bad attitudes. That is, the company’s preference of videos won’t embody those with “ego-driven online ‘stars,’” the Jellies website proclaims, nor will it underline those where toys are unboxed or videos with inapt ads.
In fact, the app doesn’t embody any ads at all.
The company instead chooses to beget income by a subscription model, charging $4.99/month for ongoing entrance to its video collection, which includes the further of new video playlists on a weekly basis.
The video preference routine is something the group at Jellies has suspicion about carefully. The company referenced The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines and age-range information from San Francisco non-profit Common Sense Media, to help with its curation process. This helped Jellies to figure out not just which videos make clarity for which age groups, but also which topics should be enclosed in its kid-friendly app.
For example, Common Sense Media suggests that videos inspiring creativity and imagination are vicious for children as immature as two, while those that denote good interpersonal skills – like pity or watchful your spin – should be shown to somewhat older kids. Videos that learn good values, like those focused on personal shortcoming and ethics, can be brought in around age 5, Common Sense Media says. And older kids can be speedy to rise vicious meditative skills.
As any primogenitor with a YouTube-addicted child can tell you, the videos children watch can also change their behavior. The kids start to embrace the smart aleck-y, sassy YouTube personalities they see online, much to parents’ annoyance. Jellies’ position is that the videos children watch should denote better function for kids to mimic. That means there are no YouTube stars on Jellies, and its videos are some-more educational than sensational.
To create the initial round-up of videos featured in Jellies, video viewers watched thousands of hours of YouTube videos to make certain they fit the company’s criteria. There are now over 3,000 handpicked videos opposite over 100 topics, with 4-5 being combined per week, including anniversary topics.
Some record helps with video selection, but eventually human curation is the final determining cause here.
“While we are building tech to help, notice computers are last in the list. Yes, we get that the attention believes scale is vicious and values that rarely or solely. We trust reserve and peculiarity are some-more vicious than algorithms that scale as of now,” says Yarmosh.
Beyond the some-more clever curation of calm compared to what’s found on YouTube, Jellies also introduces a series of controls that put relatives in charge of what the kids get to watch. Though a “Parents Model” option, moms and dads can name their kids’ favorite topics for inclusion in the app – like trains, planes, baby animals, sea creatures, and the like, for example. They can also supplement educational content, like ABCs and Shapes, if they choose, and mislay other calm as they see fit.
Meanwhile, children use the app in a special “Kids Mode” that lets them pierce between topics and try videos, giving them a clarity of liberty even yet they’re observation only parent-approved videos.
Though Jellies does underline videos for school agers, not just preschoolers, it may be tough to lift older kids out of YouTube’s universe after having been enthralled for years.
It may be easier for relatives with younger kids to just benefaction them with Jellies, and never make YouTube examination an option.
A series of apps over the years have tried to offer curated versions of YouTube, but Jellies is attack at a essential time – when things have gotten so bad on YouTube’s height that brands are even frozen their promotion due to its vulnerable inlet for children. That could help the app find an audience.
Jellies is a free download on the App Store with the subscription accessible around in-app purchase.