Google To Target Under-12s With New 'Fun And Safe' Products

04/12/2014 11:23 | Updated 20 May 2015


Google is to target children as young as eight with special versions of its most popular products.

The internet giant hopes that child friendly versions of products such as Search, YouTube and its Chrome browser could make the internet safer for kids.

It says it is aiming the new products at under 12s.

Pavni Diwanji, the vice president of engineering charged with leading the new initiative, told USA Today: "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."

The mum of two daughters, aged 8 and 13, added: "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 is developing the products in a secret room at its Mountain View 'Googleplex' called the Kids Studio.

Mrs Diwanji said her own daughter was part of the test group, and has already given the team some guidance after Googling 'trains' and seeing a list of Amtrak train schedules pop up.

She said: "She came to me and said, 'Mommy, you should tell Google about Thomas the Tank Engine, because Google obviously doesn't know about him."

Although Google has not said which products will be released, it is believed Search, YouTube and Chrome are the most likely.

The news comes as a survey revealed children increasingly have their own tablets to play on.

A recent study by Smarty Pants said the iPad has now overtaken household names such as McDonalds and Disney to become the number one brand among American 6-12 year olds.

'Kids increasingly turn to iPad for games, TV shows, videos, books, homework help and communicating with friends and family.

In the firm's 2014 study, Apple's iPad trumps iconic kid brands such as McDonald's, Toys'R'Us, Nickelodeon, and Disney.