Times Square App to Help Ring in New Year
Social media will be almost as much of a fixture during New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square as the ball drop at midnight.
The social media mix will include the first official Times Square Ball App, designed for Apple and Android mobile devices.
Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said: “The app represents a connection that is created on New Year's Eve, no matter where people physically are. It is a moment of reflection, celebration and hope. Thanks to this app, that moment can be in the palm of your hand.”
Features of the free app include:
• A commercial-free stream of the live 6.5-hour webcast, including musical performances, celebrity appearances, the first official Times Square wedding, hourly countdowns and the midnight ball drop.
• A customizable countdown clock.
• A contest giving users a chance to have New Year’s photos displayed on an electronic sign beneath the New Year’s Eve ball.
• New Year’s Eve “kisses” and photos to share with family and friends.
• History, news, weather, photos, maps and schedules for the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration.
• Live streaming of behind-the-scenes events in Times Square leading up to New Year’s Eve festivities.
• Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter check-ins.
Even after the final bits of New Year's Eve confetti are swept from Times Square, the app will be a year-round source of Times Square news and events.
The Times Square 2011 webcast/blogcast will begin at 5:50 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 31, and end at 12:20 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1. The show will be available at TimesSquareNYC.org and Livestream.com/2011.
Live streaming video of the action, anchored by three co-hosts, will be integrated with Facebook and Twitter as well as the live blogging tool CoverItLive.
Organizers also are offering free, non-commercial widgets for bloggers, webmasters and digital media outlets to embed as a source of content for New Year’s Eve programming.
The first official Times Square wedding on New Year’s Eve will feature Bethany Philips and Geoffrey Dubie, two Marine Corps reservists who met in Iraq. Their vows will be witnessed by about 1 million people in Times Square. Philips and Dubie were picked from nearly 2,000 submissions by couples across the country. The wedding will be documented by GetMarried.com.