Google knows an growing cohort of new users is coming from the playground, so they're designing products kids can use and enjoy safely.
Beginning next year, they're creating youth versions of some of its most popular products, such as Chrome, YouTube and their Google search function that started it all.
The products will be targeted at kids 12 and younger. Why the sudden interest in kid-friendly Internet? Folks at Google are growing up, making babies and raising those digital native babies. What was once good enough for these engineers and designers on the Wild West that was Internet 1.0 isn't working so well now that they're parents.
If this makes you feel like they're coming after your kids, Google has a response. "We expect this to be controversial," Pavni Diwanji, the vice president of engineering charged with leading the new Google initiative, told USA Today. "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." " Diwanji is also a mother to two daughters, ages 8 and 13. "
There's no specific timeline for rolling out these projects, but focusing on kids is already underway. Google recently launched the virtual Maker Camp, Doodle 4 Google competition and Made with Code initiative, which lets kids light the White House Christmas trees with designs they code from their own computers across the U.S.
As USA Today points out, laws protecting the privacy of kids 15 years and younger might be a hurdle for Google to get over (or at least something they'll need to work around).