Just three days ago, we said that 10 weeks was the expected timeline for YouTube to roll out their COPPA adjustments, but it appears that many creators are seeing the new "Audience" options today with the release of this new video from the YouTube Creators channel:

YouTube explains how COPPA compliance means for creators.

It was expected that YouTube would wait until absolutely necessary to begin their compliance changes, but this has proven that to not be the case. If you're not up to speed, give our original post a quick read.

The Audience Setting

Starting today, new uploads to YouTube will show an "Audience" toggle, where you inform the platform on if your content is kid-directed or not.

Imagery courtesy of YouTube

As well as being added to every upload, you'll also be able to mass set your channel as for kids or not for kids. This will save the tedious task of updating the flag for every past video as long as you always plan for your future content to match the same setting.

By informing YouTube that your video is directed at children, you are accepting the lack of personalized ads and notifications on your content. This is what scares creators the most, after many have spent the last 2 years turning their channel to be more kid-oriented in an effort to appeal to advertisers.

Starting in January of 2020 though, it'll get worse for kid-directed videos, as the following features will be restricted from use on the flagged videos:

  • Commenting
  • Channel-branding watermarks
  • Donation buttons
  • Info cards and end screens
  • Live Chat and Live Chat Donations
  • Playback in miniplayer
  • "Super Chats" or "Super Features"
  • "Save to Playlist"

More details are available in YouTube's support article here.

These colorful, scuffed blocks are part of a collection I purchased from a sweet elderly couple who kept them in a box for their grandchildren. Their grandchildren long-grown, they were happy to share them with me.
Photo by Susan Holt Simpson / Unsplash

What if I don't know if my content is "kid-directed"?

This is a concern for many, and it's something that we can't tell you the answer to. There is no black and white answer that designates specific games, commentary styles, and more as made for kids. Clear candidates for kid-directed content would be channels like Ryan's Toy Review or React, but for gaming or lifestyle creators - two of the fastest growing categories on the platform, it's not so clear.

The simple answer here is to seek a professional. Whether it be a lawyer, YouTube relations manager, or anyone who's familiar with these changes. If you don't have anyone to turn to, we can help you over at Melon Seed Media, we're fully staffed to support you through this change and help to make your transition as painless as possible.

What you shouldn't do is take legal advice from others on Twitter or Reddit. They're just as scared as you are.