Live From New York: The Times Square New Year's App Implies Strange Ideas About How to Party

Times Square

Building on the success of last year's live web stream of the event, this year New York's Times Square New Year's celebration is getting an official iPhone and Android app. So now you can celebrate New York City's big party anywhere on the planet. Instead of, you know, where you are.

The app comes from the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, who organize the official New Year's Eve celebrations in New York's Times Square. It involves partnerships with Toshiba and Livestream (who must be injecting advertising cash, since the app itself is free). According to a statement, the app's designed to "put you in the middle of the legendary New Year's Eve festivities in Times Square, no matter where you are in the world."

For sure, the app has some neat tech aspects: There's a six-hour live stream video feed built in, powered by Livestream, without ads, and you can uplink your own photos to Toshiba's servers, from where they'll be broadcast on a large video screen directly above the famous countdown ball. There's also some longer-term tourist data in there, acting as a "year-round source of information about the non-stop excitement that makes Times Square the 'Crossroads of the World'." There's even a link so you can check-in at Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter so you can "find out how far away you are from Times Square."

And that's where we point out a teeny, tiny flaw in the marketing behind the app. Sure, New York's New Year's celebration is a blast. But the world spins, and New Year's Eve happens wherever you are. Plus London's New Year's festivities include the measured beauty of Big Ben's chimes (and traditionally a splash in the fountains); Paris has fireworks on the Champs Élysée; Sidney has its Harbor Bridge fireworks spectacular. And so on. And these parties all happen at a different hour than New York's. Why would you want to disrupt your champagne-fueled celebration to ogle what's happening in New York, particularly if you're not American? This is a case of bandwagon marketing that's gone just a little too far.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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