Moving Pictures

Ring in the New Year With a Livestream of the Times Square Ball Drop — and also GIFs!

Gif with it!
(screencap)

(screencap)

Back in November, Livestream partnered with Tumblr for a “live-GIFing” of the final presidential debate. Seems the experiment was successful enough for a return engagement: The company’s bountiful stream of coverage tonight from Times Square will include not just the usual interviews and musical performances, but also GIFs. Glorious GIFs!

This officially solidifies 2012′s place in the Internet history books as the year even your 80-year-old nana learned what “those little moving pictures” were.

Livestream has handled the ball drop’s official feed (produced by Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment) for the last four years, but the GIFs are new. The results will be cross-posted to Gifwich, the site built by Tumblr for the debate festivities. To illustrate what to expect, a Livestream spokesperson provided this magnificent moving snapshot of our mayor cha-cha-chaing with Lady Gaga at last year’s broadcast:

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The show starts at 5:55 EST this evening and will run until 12:15 p.m., hosted by one Allison Hagendorf of Fuse TV and the CW. The feed is here; if you bookmark it now, perhaps you can avoid the mistake last year by this reporter, when a bit of Googling accidentally turned up a video from the 2010 festivities, rather than the live ball drop. (File under: When time-shifting goes terribly wrong.)

Besides the GIFs, Livestream also partnered with Toshiba to create a free app (both iOS and Android versions are available) where you can watch the event. The app will also let users submit photos they’d like to see on Toshbia’s ginormo Times Square screen.

Betabeat encourages everyone to send Snapchat-style photos of their wooly-sock-clad feet, just to remind everyone freezing their butts off on 42nd and Broadway what they could’ve done instead.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com