By Sahil Patel
Google has acquired children’s apps maker Launchpad Toys, in a deal that could signal what the company has planned for its kid-friendly version of YouTube.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, with Launchpad announcing the sale on its website. “We’re proud to announce that our little toy company is pairing up with a great big team of tinkerers to empower GAJILLIONS of playful storytellers around the world. Launchpad Toys is joining Google to create even more amazing creativity tools for kids,” Launchpad said.
Launchpad is best known for a series of augmented-reality storytelling apps called Toontastic. The flagship app, for instance, allows kids to create their own cartoons by choosing characters and scenery and then recording their voice to create the narrative.
The company has another app under the Toontastic brand that could very much be a precursor to a YouTube for kids. Called TeleStory, the app allows users to script and shoot their own shows, using available scene locations and “digital costumes.” The app is paired with ToonTube, a video site where kids can upload and share their TeleStory videos. Now that it’s been bought by Google, Launchpad said it will be shutting down ToonTube.
Which isn’t surprising, considering what Google is up to. In December, the media giant confirmed that it was developing a kid-safe version of its video site. With the Launchpad acquisition, it seems Google wants to develop a video service that encourages kids to create and share videos as well as watch them.