Is a new YouTube for children on the way?

GOOGLE has bought children's video firm Launchpad Toys, which could be its latest move in creating a version of its products for children.

A senior executive said in December that the company was looking to make versions of its products for under-13s.

Google's acquisition of Launchpad Toys could be one of its first public moves to start that project, helping it develop a version of YouTube for children.

While many thought Google might simply make a version of YouTube that filtered out adult content, this acquisition might indicate that it will encourage children to upload videos, too.

Launchpad Toys' two big products are Toontastic and TeleStory. Toontastic allows children to make animated films by dragging around characters, in a similar way to putting on a puppet show. TeleStory uses the cameras built into devices to allow children to record videos of themselves in augmented reality environments.

The company allowed children to upload those videos onto a site called ToonTube, which allowed kids to share their work. That site is now closing down, and parents have been asked to download the videos by March 4.

"Launchpad Toys is joining Google to create even more amazing creativity tools for kids," the company said.

The company also said that it would make its apps free.