Parents' Guide to

Nebula

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

YouTube video tester has scant content, no safety controls.

App iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad Free to try Entertainment
Nebula Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Great, curated, thoughtful content by quality creators.

The videos available are a mark above the quality (content-wise) of the average stuff you'd find a YouTube. There are a lot of in depth commentary videos talking about a variety of content. I will say, for parents, that if you're concerned about things like sex, violence or swearing the type of content in a particular video is going to vary widely from one creator to another. Some of the videos do deal with these subjects, but they do so in a thoughtful and conversative way as opposed to gratuitously using those things as an ends in themselves. For example, there might be a video dealing with sex or gender issues, but those kinds of videos will be aimed at understanding those issues in an educational sense.

Privacy Rating Warning

  • Personal information is not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays personalised advertising.
  • Unclear whether data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • Unclear whether this product uses a user's information to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Unclear whether this product creates and uses data profiles for personalised advertisements.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Though this app sets itself up as an appendage, rather than a rival, of YouTube, the comparisons are inevitable -- and the results aren't good. Its main selling point is lack of ads, but it lacks a lot of other things, too, including content. Without it, Nebula isn't worth using, let alone paying for.

The app's first shortcoming is apparent the minute you open it and find you can't register within the app (you're redirected to the app's website). Next, you'll notice the serious lack of content. If you're hoping to find your favorite YouTube star here, you'll likely be disappointed. At the time of review, it has only 75 content creators, so each category contains only two to four videos, some of which are doing double duty in multiple categories. Also, the category list is seriously limited. No Art category? That's a big one on YouTube.

Searches are even more disappointing, mostly finding nothing, or finding things unrelated to your search terms. Granted, the app's currently limited content makes it easy for parents to vet videos for kids, but assuming content grows over time, the app's lack of parental/safety controls could prove problematic. Also problematic -- at least for people who are hearing-impaired -- is the lack of closed captions. Videos are limited to only one automatic resolution and two viewing sizes. But on a more positive note, the app's lack of Like options, comments, and number of views could help foster a nontoxic community that's less competitive and more open to creativity. Along with that, its no-algorithm approach could put content creators on a more even playing field with better chance of being seen (and paid). That said, the developers' claims of offering creators "production resources, design guidance, mentorship, sponsorship, and analytics" remain vague thanks to a total lack of online tools and information. As it stands, due to an overall lack of content, parental controls, and tools, Nebula is far from being useful to either viewers or creators, and is definitely not worth a $5 subscription fee.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad
  • Pricing structure: Free to try ($5/mo. after seven-day trial)
  • Release date: June 10, 2019
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Publisher: Standard
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 12.0 or later
  • Last updated: July 17, 2019

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