YouTube kids algorithm: updates, COPPA, YouTube Kids and their impact on the promotion of content for kids creators.
2020 has been most challenging for kids content creators. So we decided to fully dedicate this article to the YouTube kids algorithm. Many content creators probably remember when policies started tightening at the end of 2017. But in 2020, authors had to face even tighter restrictions. Without a full understanding of the new policies, creators keep making mistakes when creating child-directed content.
We will talk about the YouTube kids algorithm and share some tips on how to grow kids channels during this challenging year.
New YouTube Rules and Algorithm Updates for Kids Channels
In 2019 kids content creators earned a lot from content monetization. The kids segment was considered the most profitable and the most stable on the platform up until this year when new YouTube rules for kids and the СОРРА law came into effect. A few months later, we were all hit with the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, in 2020 many kids content creators had to deal with lower revenues and YouTube restrictions, forcing some to stop their work completely.
The СОРРА Law and Factors That New YouTube Rules for Kids Channels
On September 4th, 2019, all YouTube users received a letter announcing the impending tightening of their policies regarding the YouTube kids algorithm. This change resulted from a $170 mil fine set by the Federal Trade Commission for alleged violations of the children’s data confidentiality law. A dispute between YouTube and the FTC lasted for about a year. YouTube was accused of the illegal collection of underaged children’s data and of using these analytics for targeted ads. According to the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (СОРРА), and other legal acts, data collection for children under the age of 13 is allowed only with parental permission. To resolve the conflict, YouTube paid the fine, and to avoid future issues, YouTube implemented new rules that were unpopular among creators for the kids segment.
New YouTube Rules for Kids
These new updates for YouTube Kids included the cancellation of video cards and end screens (that had YouTube recommendations), comments, notifications, and many more features. The complete list of canceled functions on January 7, 2020, is in the following section of the YouTube terms of service.
In addition to all of the new YouTube rules for kids content , the key measure that most affected creators was the termination of the collection of personal data in kids content. Respectively, targeted ads in videos and their earnings ceased to exist. This type of ad provided a tangible part of earnings for сontent creators and YouTube as this type of advertising is considered the most expensive on the platform.
This new YouTube kids algorithm has changed a well-established system of earnings from young viewers’ watch time.
The Covid-19 Effect: More Video Views but Less Earnings
While content creators were still struggling with the new platform restrictions, the world was hit with Covid-19.
During the isolation period, the number of views increased drastically. According to US provider Sandvine, during the Covid-19 quarantine, YouTube videos generated about 15% of Internet traffic worldwide. That is 7% more than the previous year. YouTube content creators became the undisputed rulers of all Internet content.
But this did not increase monetization for content creators in any way. Advertisers, affected by the unpredictable pandemic situation, cut their YouTube budgets by approximately 40%.
Income for Kidfluencers suffered both from platform restrictions and the new СОРРА law.
Updates to Made for Kids Content on YouTube and Ads
From March 16, 2021, Google started updating their ads policy for ads placed on YouTube’s made for kids channels.
Placing the following types of ads on made for kids content will be restricted:
Incitement to Purchase. For example, a video that shows the unboxing of toys to motivate others to buy. This is especially true for videos where the manufacturer's brand is visible. We are talking about promotions and content with the purpose of making a child want to buy or urging a parent to buy a product or service.
Misleading and Deceptive Claims. All Paid Ads need to be substantiated within the video itself and cannot be misleading to children. Claims cannot include features or call-to-actions that do not work or where the desired action can’t be completed.
Such advertising can lead to potential penalties from YouTube.
Youtube Kids Algorithm in the New Reality
Besides all of the restrictions, YouTube made important positive new YouTube rules for children: primarily, they created a separate platform where every young viewer can feel safe.
Though many content creators haven’t accepted that YouTube Kids is now separated from the main platform, we in the AIR Creators Ecosystem consider it an excellent advantage for content creators.
The YouTube Kids app was produced in response to everything related to children’s videos. The app gathers all content that corresponds with the YouTube algorithm for kids views and provides only useful content. The app places only videos and ads that are relevant for young viewers or their parents.
YouTube Kids has stricter moderation rules for compliance with new YouTube rules for kid content. The app thoroughly filters content and advertisers. The earning system is the same: bloggers earn from ad views. The app provides opportunities for advertising integrations with some exceptions.
How to get on YouTube Kids?
Many creators were able to quickly get on YouTube Kids because the YouTube kids algorithm identified their content as relevant and automatically added them to the app.
However, just because you aren’t on YouTube Kids yet does not mean it’s unattainable. The AIR Creators Ecosystem experience proves that even the most unlikely content can get on the YouTube Kids app if produced into useful and safe content for kids. This involves either small corrections or consulting on substantial content changes.
For the past few months, AIR Media-Tech has helped over 90 channels get on the YouTube Kids app. Our team worked with creators to correct and develop high-quality content that corresponds with the YouTube kids channel algorithm. AIR is now also accepting new requests for help.
How to Work with YouTube Updates on Kids Videos
- Follow YouTube policies and check the YouTube kids algorithm. These are the basics for growing your channel.
- Do not forget about optimization and channel settings that will help your channel perform well with the new rules.
- Follow trends wisely. Produce the content that your audience likes.
- Engage with your viewers. Implement the gamification mechanics.
- Distribute your videos to other platforms.
- Produce international child-directed content with translation services. But don't forget the new YouTube rules for made for kids content.
- Work on your content to be rated as a channel with safe and useful content and get added to the YouTube Kids app.
- Team up with a reliable partner that will take care of your channel safety and growth. As you might have already experienced, not every creator is ready to deal with occasional problems. Play it safe and rely on professionals. Join global ecosystems for kidfluencers, such as AIR Creators Ecosystem, to protect against issues that arise from the possible tightening of the YouTube kids algorithm, and to help you find new monetization tools and enter new markets. Such companies have a lot of experience and will help you expand into new platforms with various high-quality tools.
- 2021 has been declared the year of Education on YouTube meaning that the platform will primarily promote Educational videos. Entertainment videos will be distributed less by the YouTube kids algorithm. Therefore, try to add educational content to your videos.