Earlier this year, a report emerged claiming that Google was hard at work making its services more appropriate and accessible for children. The report noted that the company wanted to overhaul its online products to allow children to legally use them. USA Today has now published a new report, confirming the rumors earlier this year regarding specific services catered to young kids. Google VP of Engineering Pavni Diwanji told the news outlet that Google is currently working on versions of its most popular products, such as Search and YouTube, for kids aged 12 and under.
Diwanji said that the main motive for Google to expedite its plans for kid-friendly services is that many employees and executives at the company are now having children and they’re making a strong push for services that their own kids can use. Diwanji herself, a mother of two children, is leading the efforts by the Mountain View company.
The Google executive went on to explain that the company fully expects these products to become controversial. Diwanji explained that Google wants kids to be safe while on the Internet, but it also wants them to be creators and consumers of technology, just like adults.
“The big motivator inside the company is everyone is having kids, so there’s a push to change our products to be fun and safe for children,” Diwanji said. “We expect this to be controversial, but the simple truth is kids already have the technology in schools and at home. So the better approach is to simply see to it that the tech is used in a better way.”
Google currently has an area of its Mountain View headquarters dedicated to allowing kids of employees to tinker and play with early prototype products. This area, called Kids Studio, further showed Google that there are much different use cases for kids than adults when browsing the Internet.
The company has no timetable for a launch of kid-friendly versions of YouTube, Search, and Chrome, but says that the initiative is a full-time effort and only the beginning of its plans for kids.
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