HP Launches Gabble, a YouTube Competitor

It’s called Gabble, and it’s a free host for all your personal videos. Sound familiar? That’s the same concept that made YouTube a massive success–and plenty of other companies have tried to compete in the space. The advantage of Gabble, according to the site’s backer HP, is that it keeps your videos private.

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Let’s say you want to show all your friends videos of your family playing American Idol Karaoke, but you’re bashful about putting them on YouTube for all the world to see. Gabble lets you share your videos only with a select group of people, so you don’t feel so exposed. Of course, YouTube’s privacy settings allow you to do this too–as do Facebook’s video settings. But HP says that by making the videos private by default, video sharing will be less frightening for sensitive users. Gabble is also aimed at businesses that want to share proprietary content without worrying that an employee might forget to make it private.

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The service is a product of HP’s fertile product skunkworks, HP Labs, the purpose of which is to act as an idea mill–the company backs whatever goes viral. Gabble opened up to public beta users this week.

It’s unlikely that Gabble will be a serious competitor to YouTube, Hulu or even Yahoo! anytime soon. As Nielsen’s latest VideoCensus shows, YouTube–despite its expected $470 million loss this year–is far ahead of its next closest competitor.