Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Totlol Is YouTube for Kids

According to a study, kids are only three clicks away from adult content on YouTube. To remedy this problem, Ron Ilan founded Totlol in 2008 to offer parents a child-friendly alternative to the popular video-sharing website. Totlol pulled kid-safe videos from YouTube and gathered them in one place. The one-man company eventually shut down, however, due to a YouTube terms of service change that disallowed the sale of advertising on sites that only offered YouTube videos and nothing else.

But last week, Totlol came back with new founders, Michael Avni and Tiffany Stelman, who decided to revive the business some months ago. Avni, a father of three, saw how easy it was for his children to find adult content on YouTube. When he couldn't find a solution, he set out to create it.

The new Totlol enlists the help of a community of parents who screen and moderate the videos. Site members watch YouTube videos, share the URL, and categorize it. They also keep an eye out for any inappropriate content. When a video is flagged, Totlol's “Parent Editors” group will review it and contact the member who uploaded it. Totlol currently has more than a thousand kid-friendly videos targeting infants, toddler, preschoolers, kindergarteners, young children, and even tweens.

Totlol plans to add content from other sources later on, as well as features like a visual search engine and time limit settings. Right now, Totlol is available on the web and iOS. The Parent's Dashboard, which members use to share videos, is only accessible via the web, with the mobile app being mostly a video viewer.

Based in Israel, Totlol is run by four entrepreneurs who “know a thing or two about technology.” The company is currently being bootstrapped; revenue will come from in-app purchases such as video playlists instead of ads.

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