Google wants to make it easier for parents and their kids to find appropriate content on Google Play: The company is adding special family sections to the apps, games and movies and TV sections of its digital storefront, and also broken out children’s books in a new section of Goole Play Books.
That’s because a third of all Android users are parents with kids, said Google Play lead product manager Ellie Powers at the company’s Google I/O conference in San Francisco Thursday.
Google Play now offers parents easier access to ange ranges and content ratings for content available on Google Play, and apps and games also will come with special labels to tell parents if apps and games feature ads or in-app purchase capabilities.
Kids will also have it easier to find something on Google Play, thanks to new character pages that allow them to check out any apps, movies and games for characters like Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake or Curious George. Google started to roll out the new family features Thursday, and wants to make it available to all Google Play users in the coming weeks.
Google isn’t the only company to discover that kids and their parents are a big market for mobile entertainment. Netflix launched a dedicated mobile app and web interface for kids four years ago, and other media services followed suit with their own kids offerings.
However, Google also recently had to learn that it isn’t easy to make kid-friendly media services — especially if one doesn’t control all the media being offered through those services. Consumer advocates blasted YouTube’s kids app in April for advertising products to children without necessarily marking promotional videos as ads.