Amazon Gives Parents More Control Over What Their Kids Do Online
Amazon is giving parents more control over what their kids access through its children’s entertainment app.
On Wednesday, Amazon debuted Parent Dashboard, a free website for parents to monitor the movies, TV shows, and books their children access through Amazon’s FreeTime service. Amazon FreeTime, used by 10 million children, is a paid app for children under 13 that provides access to over 13,000 kid-friendly movies, TV shows, books, and YouTube videos.
With the Dashboard, parents can see a snapshot of their child’s screen time on a given day. They can also see how much time was spent reading books, compared to TV shows, apps, or videos, or which websites their children visited.
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Amazon is also trying to help parents spark conversations about what their children do online through a new feature called Discussion Cards. In the dashboard, parents can click on a specific book or video to get a summary of what the content includes as well as sample questions they can ask children about it.
For example, a parent who clicked on a National Geographic book about pets may see a question like “what’s the difference between a canine and a feline?” or “which pet would you like and why?.” Another suggestion might be to “volunteer at the local animal shelter to help homeless dogs and cats.”
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Amazon said that Discussion Cards have been created for thousands of the app’s most popular titles. More cards will be added daily, the company says.
Amazon is adding parental controls as incentive to encourage more people to buy Amazon’s Kindles, tablets, and media streaming services. The company is no longer just the “everything store” for toilet paper and books, but also an entertainment hub for people to buy and stream movies, TV shows, games, and music.
FreeTime is available as a mobile app on Amazon Kindles, as well as its line of Fire tablets, including its kids-focused edition, and its Fire TV media streaming stick. It’s not available for Apple or Android devices.
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