Times Square New York City New Year’s Eve Celebration Goes Mobile

By the Editors

When it comes to ringing in the New Year, nobody does it quite like the Times Square celebration in New York City. There will be an estimated crowd of one million people gathering in Times Square to see the world-famous ball drop in the final seconds of 2012. Millions more will be watching on TV around the country and more than a billion worldwide are expected to turn their eyes to The Big Apple for this time-honored tradition. Now, for the first time, the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is going mobile. Here’s the rundown.

The first-ever mobile app for the New York City event has been launched. It is the product of a partnership between the event’s organizers, the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, along with Toshiba and Livestream. The app is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices. The event’s organizers did extensive research to find out their customers biggest desire: the ability to “be there” even if they’re located far away and to get more visibility if they already in Times Square. Now mobile users can experience the action from the comfort of their own couch this New Year’s and not worry about how they are going to stand in high heels for seven hours amidst a crowd of one million!

The free Official New Year’s Eve Ball App will allow users to access the six-and-a-half-hour, commercial-free live mobile video stream of the event, including live musical performances. Even better, users will have the opportunity to see their own faces on the Toshiba Vision sign directly beneath the Times Square Ball during the New Year’s Eve event. Users will also enjoy up-to-the-minute news clips and information about what’s happening at this truly global celebration. Other cool things users can do through the app include the following:

  • Send a tweet to @TimesSquareBall for a chance to see a reply or retweet of your New Year’s greeting scroll right across the home screen of the Times Square Ball App.
  • Send New Year’s Eve cards that include personalized greetings and photos from the app to friends, family and followers on your favorite social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter and through your email client.
  • Submit photos of your celebration for friends, family and others to vote on through the app via Facebook and Twitter. The photos that get the most votes will be featured on the Toshiba Vision sign above One Times Square just beneath the Waterford Crystal New Year’s Eve Ball on New Year’s Eve. Top vote-getters will be posted each hour from 7 through 11 p.m. for the world to see during the live celebration.
  • You can even customize your own Toshiba Countdown Clock on the app’s home screen using your personal photo and set it to your time zone.
  • The app will open up your own path to discover everything you want to know about the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration, such as its history, news, weather, photos, maps, and a full schedule of events.
  • Even after all that confetti is cleaned up, the app will serve a connection to all things related to Times Square, including news, events and entertainment.

As a mobile initiative, the New Year’s Eve app is interesting for several reasons. It incorporates highly useful functionality (i.e. event info) with tools that make it more social (i.e. the voting and photo apps). The content is geared toward developing engagement with users, and incorporates pre-event, real time, and follow up angles. This collaborative project is an exciting example of what can be achieved when you know your demographic well, customize your content to their needs, and tie it to the life cycle of your produce.

Now that the Times Square celebration and ball-drop have gone mobile, users can be a part of the collective farewell to one year and the beginning of the next, no matter where you are in the world! It’ll be interesting to see how effective this campaign is, and look at the adoption rates this year. If it creates a big splash, we’ll definitely do a postmortem in the New Year.