YouTube Now Lets You See How Much Time Your Kids Spend Watching

Monday, August 27th, 2018 8:38 am

An eye-opening new feature is now rolling out to users.

YouTube makes it pretty easy to fall into a black hole of endless watching. With a personalized stream of content recommendations and features (like the video queue which allows users to queue up multiple videos that will play automatically), hours can pass without kids or adults really noticing.

Now, the video platform wants to help users take control of their viewing habits, or at least have a better understanding of how much time they (and potentially their children) are watching YouTube videos.

YouTube has begun to roll out a new “Time watched” menu, which will allow users to see how much time they’ve spent watching YouTube videos today, yesterday, and over the past week. The menu also shows the user’s daily average watch time, based on their individual watch history. The only content that isn’t taken into account in this daily average is time spent listening to music in the YouTube Music app. The “Time watched” menu can be found by tapping on your profile picture within the YouTube mobile app.

If you’re concerned your family is spending too much time watching YouTube videos, the YouTube mobile app lets you turn on a reminder to “take a break.” You can tell the app how long to wait before sending out this reminder, but the reminder won’t actually stop you from watching videos. It will just notify you when you’ve reached the reminder time you set. It’s up to you (or your kids) to pay attention and actually take a break from the app at that point.

Parents, if you want more control over your kids’ screentime, there are devices you can purchase to better manage their device usage. For instance, Disney’s Circle ($99) lets parents set time limits on individual devices, like laptops and smartphones. A more expensive option, the Gryphon Wi-Fi router ($219.99), allows parents to go one step further and pause their kids’ access to the internet entirely.

Brandy Berthelson

Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

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