Head of Toca TV shares what goes into making a fun, safe streaming video service.
- Parker Barry
“How can we make video playful?”
This was the central question we posed to ourselves when we set out to create a new video experience for kids 5 to 9. After all, Toca Boca is all about play. We wanted to make a toy-like platform with personality and whimsy — like every Toca Boca app — that’s intuitive and fun to play with in itself. Video can typically be such a passive, “lean back” experience. And while it’s OK to chill sometimes — yes, kids need to veg out too — playing with video can be engaging, interactive and fun.
So our team put our heads and our imaginations together to bring you Toca TV — a streaming video service with thousands of curated videos and Toca Boca originals that are fun, inspirational and safe for kids.
Video from the kids’ perspective
Like everything Toca Boca does, the key to designing a great video experience for kids is to see it through the kids’ perspective. We’ve integrated features in a way that no one has done before. Simple things like saving your videos in a place you can find them again. Or a kid-friendly way to search for videos. And deeper things like giving kids a universe of videos they can find their own way through because every video had been handpicked for them.
We also thought about the best way of all to play with video — making your own — and we built tools right into the platform to let kids do that in a fun, kid-oriented way. And best of all, kids can save their videos and watch them right on Toca TV along with the content we give you. It’s important to note, kids do this locally on their device without sharing their videos to the world, so you don’t have to worry about your kids interacting with strangers online. Kids’ videos are on their Toca TV, and they love it.
We screen out the bad stuff
For any parent who’s sat with their kid watching Minecraft videos, for example, it can be tricky to discern the ones that are fine for kids and ones that aren’t — at first blush, let alone at minute 12. We’ve done the work, watching it all, and only showing the good stuff!
In fact, we hand-select all the video that’s on the platform, and humans have watched every second of every video we program. Toca TV is a curated experience with a distinct Toca Boca editorial voice. We screen out violence, swearing, advertising, bad modeling and anything that isn’t appropriate for our audience to see. You don’t have to watch your kid watch Toca TV.
Humans have watched every second of every video we program.
Videos kids love in a safe environment
As a parent I’m acutely aware that there is a time in a kid’s life between preschool and getting her own Instagram account that is, well, tricky from a media point of view. Kids in this age group like to follow their curiosity on platforms like YouTube, but unmonitored, can wind up in inappropriate places pretty easily. We want to give kids a way to follow their curiosity, but in a universe of video that is safe, without being sanitized.
We think your kids will love Toca TV — and you’ll love knowing your kids can explore the world of video, be inspired and get creative in a safe, ad-free environment. We add new videos every week, and in the coming months, we’ll also add even more tools for your kids to create with — so stay tuned.