YouTube rolls out Arabic version of its kids app in MENA region

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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YouTube Kids
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World’s largest video streaming platform YouTube has launched an Arabic version of its YouTube Kids app in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, as part of its effort to increase locally relevant content.

The app, which is aimed at children under the age of 13, will be available in 15 countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Google said in a statement that, “The YouTube Kids app will hold “families across MENA in mind” and understand “language and culture” to create more locally specific experiences. A key part of this is for families to be able to interact with our products in their native language.”

Launched globally in February 2015, YouTube Kids is now available in 90 countries in 38 languages, including Arabic, English, Spanish, Russian, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Vietnamese, Serbian, Macedonian, and Hungarian, among others.

YouTube Kids has registered “tens of millions of downloads” with over 35 million active weekly users since its global launch. Google has stated it has already hosted millions of family-friendly videos of varying lengths but did not specify the exact amount.

Tarek Abdalla
Tarek Abdalla
Regional MD
Google – MENA Region

“Whether your children are 12 years old who enjoy arts and crafts or seven years old who want to understand more about the solar system, YouTube Kids is a family-friendly space for watching and exploring. It helps every family nurture their children’s curiosity and interests … offering a range of parental controls to tailor the experience based on their needs.”

“The kids version of YouTube will also limit advertisements. We have ads that comply with our strict policies and human review guidelines … we will allow limited paid advertisements that are verified as family-friendly. All advertisements will be clearly labeled as ads and will not include any click-through to websites or product purchases,” the company noted.

According to the company, YouTube Premium, a paid subscription, is available to parents who want an ad-free experience. YouTube Kids can also be customized to suit different age groups. Parents can create up to eight profiles for their children based on their viewing preferences and suggestions.

They can also block specific channels or content, and disable the search feature to limit their children’s viewing to a limited set of videos. Content available on YouTube Kids will include the Arabic version of Sesame Street, Ahlan Simsim, or Emirati production Mansour, educational videos such as El Schoola and Learn with Zakariya, or nursery rhymes.

“YouTube Kids only collects data that is needed to support the operation of the service, for example, age, if a parent chooses to select content based on age range,” the tech giant added.

Related: Instagram exploring its new version for kids under 13