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Monday, 7 March 2022

Digital startups are eyeing the employee mental health assistance industry + YouTube Kids get a revamp

Are digital startups taking over the employee mental health assistance industry? Tech-savvy digital startups aiming to ease access to mental health support for company employees have boomed over the past couple of years, in a bid to keep up with the soaring rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse that jumped due to the pandemic, Bloomberg writes. Dozens of companies have jumped in to fill the gap left by industry veterans — famous mostly for their face-to-face counseling sessions and no-toll hotlines — to offer services like mindfulness training, matching workers with caregivers, and fast-tracked appointments with mental health experts. Around 10 of the companies are currently valued at USD 1 bn, and investments in the sector have doubled to USD 5.5 bn.

YouTube Kids gets a revamp — actually prioritizing the kids this time: YouTube Kids, the first children’s version of a tech product, has shifted its method for curating children-appropriate content, the Wall Street Journal writes. When the platform was initially introduced, it was “ruled by algorithms with little human intervention,” but following criticism that the platform wasn’t prioritizing children’s safety, it started depending more on humans to select the most kid-suitable content. In 2019, the company removed mns of low quality videos from its kids platform, resulting in almost 80% of the videos available being scrapped. This content included videos that violated its commercial content policy, removing cartoon parodies and many unboxing videos. The platform currently houses videos from preapproved content partners.

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