youpop.jpgPolling widgets may seem like pretty simple technology, but there are still plenty of companies offering their unique spin — PollDaddy, SodaHead, Vizu, JS-Kit and more. One of the latest companies to enter the arena is YouPop. As the name implies, the startup’s main feature is closely tied to YouTube. Rather than creating a simple text poll or featuring a single piece of media, YouPop allows you to feature multiple videos or other media, leading to what co-founder Robb Knie hopes will be a richer polling experience.

For example, let’s say you wanted to compare Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. On most polling sites, you’d just type out a question and then the various answers. You might also include an image or video clip from a debate. On YouPop, however, you can include a video clip with each answer, so that people can actually compare a video of Clinton with a video of Obama and make a more educated decision. (Watching a few minutes of video hardly makes you an expert, but hey, it’s better than nothing.)

Or, to take one of the social uses that Knie envisions, let’s say you want to watch a movie with your friends. Not only can you ask your friends what film they’d like to see and distribute the widget on multiple social networks, you can also include the trailer for each option. (See sample YouPop below.)

http://youpop.com/widget/widget.swf?1203286446It’s an obvious feature, but Knie says other sites have been hesitant to “weigh down” their widgets with multiple videos. YouPop, on the other hand, is betting that the richer media experience will lead to longer and more involved engagement with the polls, which is a crucial selling point when it comes to monetization.

Another big selling point is the ease with which you can create YouPop’s rich-media polls — rather than entering HTML to upload a video (as you would with PollDaddy), a search of YouTube and other sites is built into YouPop’s interface. That ease will make YouPop an obvious choice for social interaction, Knie says. (SodaHead is also going the social route, but focuses on chat functionality, rather than rich media and ease of use.)

YouPop will also store the poll results, so that people can go back and look at them later. (PollDaddy recently launched a similar service called PollDaddy Answers.)

The bigger question is whether YouPop’s approach makes sense — whether people want a “deeper” polling experience, or whether polls work better as just a quick hit. I can’t see the quick-hit model disappearing anytime soon, but there might be room for both.

The New York City-based startup is self-funded. Knie says he’ll be launching some major PR initiatives in the next few months to increase YouPop’s visibility, including a “King of Facebook” and “Queen of Facebook” contest, followed by similar contests on MySpace.