Why the Era of YouTube Kid Influencers is Over

Harshita Agrawal

Harshita Agrawal is the Founder at eSocMedia. She is a social media and influencer marketing specialist who spends most of her time behind the screen. She's also an avid reader and a travel enthusiast.

YouTube has always been the go-to app for all kids when they snatch their parents’ phones and we all know why. YouTube has millions of videos for kids of all ages to entertain themselves created by kid’s influencers. YouTube’s kid’s influencers are all the content creators that share child-focused content like dance videos, nursery rhymes, game learning, and more!

There has been a pretty great chemistry going on between the kid’s influencers on YouTube and the children until the FTC fined YouTubed. The Federal Trade Commission fined YouTube $170 million in violation of Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). YouTube has been alleged to violate COPPA by collecting data and showing targeted ads to children under the age of 12 years. 

A fine and statement by the FTC resulted in an immediate reaction by YouTube in handling the complaint. 

YouTube’s Reaction to the COPPAclypse:

When YouTube was fined by the FTC, it came up with a plan that they decided to impose by January 2020. The new plan would follow FTC’s guidelines in dealing with kids’ personal information in their updated framework.

According to YouTube’s announcement

  • A new audience setting has been introduced for creators to indicate whether a video is for kids or not. A video is made for kids depending on the subject matter of the video with emphasis on kids’ characters, toys, games, etc. YouTube will also use its machine learning to check if the content is made for kids or not. 
  • Any personal information coming from users watching a kids video will be considered to be coming from a child, irrespective of the age of the user. 
  • Personalized or targeted ads will no longer be served on kids videos or content.
  • Any video marked as a kids video or identified as a kids video will not support features like comments, stories, notification, save to playlist, etc. 

All the above changes may not be significant from the point of view of a viewer, but makes a big difference to the content creators. All the influencers creating kids videos will no longer be able to monetize their content or build a community. 

How YouTube’s New Policies on Kids Videos Affect Kid’s Influencers: 

Kid’s influencers have been traumatized and scared with the new policy updates as their years of efforts seem to be in jeopardy. Many influencers have decided to make major changes to their new videos and channels to make them suited for children above age 12 years.

Here’s how some of the topmost influencers are reacting to the updated policies: 

“We will only post art lessons that are meant for kids that are 13-years-old and up. For the time being, I will leave all of our past lessons on our channel, but eventually these may go away. We’ll still continue to post lessons (for younger kids) over on our app and on our website.”

“We will be adding more lifestyle stuff. We’re going to be vlogging a little bit more, we’re going to be talking about hair … so yeah, vlogging and everything is on the table.”

“We work really hard on something, and we don’t know how it’s going to be treated by the algorithm or if it will be monetized and whether it’s going to pay the bills. It’s a core stress of worrying about whether what you’re doing is a complete waste of your time economically for that week. That makes people have emotional crises.YouTube is always protecting itself with the lack of transparency, but it’s a terrible trade-off for the creator community.”

  • Een of Nerd City (Number of YouTube subscribers: 843k)

The reactions of the kid’s influencers definitely show that they are not happy about it. They spend a lot of time creating their content and their entire livelihood gets affected. But, this can’t be changed, so let’s focus on what can be done. 

Are There Other Platforms that the Influencers can Monetize on? 

IGTV: Instagram has recently announced that they are working on IGTV ads to let influencers monetize their content by running short ads on IGTV. This would be the perfect time and opportunity to leverage IGTV if you haven’t already. With IGTV’s content duration and type, you can upload the same videos as you were uploading on YouTube. And, with the number of active users on Instagram, you have a better chance of earning with IGTV. So, get ready and get started already. 

Twitch: Twitch is a public streaming service with more than 55 million monthly active users. If you miss going live on YouTube with your content for kids, you can use Twitch for streaming videos. Twitch has more than 3.7 million broadcasters per month, making it a famous platform for content creators. Try Twitch and see if it works for your videos or not! 

We hope the above article has explained how the YouTube policies affect kid’s influencers and the steps they can take forward. Don’t forget to focus on YouTube kids too as that’s the major focus of YouTube too. If you have any questions, please share below!