Introducing Cakey

A better way for your kids to watch YouTube

james hong
Hi I’m Cakey. I was named after the Hawaiian word for children: “Keiki”.

Note: iPad/iPhone users can try Cakey using this link. Android users, sign up to be notified when a version for you is ready.

If you’re a parent of young kids, I bet you have the same problem I used to have.

My kids love YouTube and the huge variety of videos they find there, but as a parent I am always nervous letting my kids drive the YouTube app by themselves. Not only are they bombarded with ads (sometimes even scary ones), they always somehow find their way to videos that are not age-appropriate.

YouTube is a veritable minefield of age-inappropriate videos. For instance, if you let your kids watch Caillou videos, there’s a chance they may find their way to the popular video “Caillou’s Gay Halloween Sex Orgy”.

YouTube loves videos like Caillou’s Gay Halloween Sex Orgy.

This video has over 200,000 views, over 2,000 likes, and only about fifty down votes. As far as YouTube is concerned this is a good video that many people find hilariously funny, but do you want your children watching Caillou’s Gay Halloween Sex Orgy? I certainly don’t.

The fundamental problem lies in the fact that YouTube works hard to ensure “rated R” type content does not make it onto the site, but as parents what we care about is that our kids only see “rated G” type content. There is a lot in between G and R, and unfortunately on YouTube my kids (and yours) can see all of it.

Every time I hand my kids the YouTube app, I am constantly having to “helicopter”, waiting for the moment when I have to grab the iPad away from them. I find myself having to pay constant attention because I never know what the kids will stumble upon next.

Meet Cakey. He solves this problem.

Cakey is an app that provides a safe and empowering way for children to watch YouTube videos.

Your child will not encounter any video that you are not okay with. This is because you decide what videos are available within the app. However, like most parents I am super busy and don’t have a lot of time to curate videos for my kids, so Cakey comes pre-populated with hundreds of videos making it immediately useful.

Cakey lets you do less work because it’s not just an app, it’s a community.

Cakey works by asking parents to create kid-safe collections of videos for their kids (e.g. a collection of safe Minecraft videos) using a built-in collection builder. It’s really fast and easy to make them.

“It takes a village to raise a child” — (African Proverb)

But let’s be honest, life as a parent can be insanely busy. We can’t always find the time to do things like build safe video collections. Furthermore it doesn’t make sense for you to have to make a collection of kid-safe Minecraft videos if somebody else has already scoured YouTube to make one.

That’s why whenever a parent makes a collection, s/he is asked to share that collection at for other parents to use. Instead of creating collections yourself, just browse Cakey Village and click to download the collections you want. They will appear the next time your child uses Cakey.

Cakey Village not only saves you time, it also taps the creativity of other parents to discover videos you might not have thought of adding. For instance, there is a collection called “Girl Power” meant to inspire girls and show them they are just as capable as boys. There are also collections like “Learn how to play chess” and “Astronaut Chris Hadfield describes life in space”. You can also sort collections by language if your child is learning a second language and needs more exposure to it. Kid videos don’t have to be dominated by mindless drivel designed to sell action figures. Rather than just being a babysitter, screen time in moderation with the right mix of content can be a positive, helping our children learn and grow.

Robert DeNiro approves of Circles of Trust! ;)

Even easier: coming soon, there will be a way for you to build a “circle of trust” with other users. When someone you trust (e.g. a friend, mother’s group, etc) creates or downloads a collection for their own kids, you can have Cakey notify you or even automatically download it to your device.

Kids can drive Cakey by themselves. Cakey’s user interface was designed to be simple so children feel empowered using it without help. For many children, having a sense that they can explore on their own is a big deal (and it gives parents a break too!)

Cakey doesn’t show ads and there are no in-app purchases. There are no advertisements in the app, period. Your child will not end up on the install page for some other app and need your help getting back. You won’t be harassed to buy some virtual good.

I am building Cakey simply because I am a fellow concerned parent. If the Village gets large and costs skyrocket, I’ll look for ways to support its costs that are respectful, make the app better, and would only impact children in a positive way. (If YouTube ever starts putting ads on iOS embedded videos I can’t do anything about that, but you can be sure that I would not be making a cent from that.)

A bonus for parents of picky eaters. Have you resorted to showing your kid videos to get them to eat? Cakey can be set to pause videos every minute and play a recording of me reminding them to take a bite.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope you like Cakey and that your children love it as much as mine do. To get Cakey, you can download Cakey from or go directly to the appstore.

Cakey runs on Apple devices only for now. If you would like to run Cakey on Android, sign up to be notified of when an Android version is available. The more people that sign up, the sooner it will be completed.

If you know any other parents with young kids, they probably have this same problem too! Be sure to pass this article on to them so they know about it, or spread the word on your Facebook/Twitter page. The more people that use Cakey, the better it works for all of us.

Thanks to Philip Kaplan, Julia, Anne Diebel, and Vu Nguyen

    james hong

    Written by

    Cofounder of HOTorNOT. Angel Investor. Husband and Dad..

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