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WeChat’s app-specific video drone

WeChat—one of the world’s most popular standalone messaging apps—has unveiled plans to retail a drone that has the sole purpose of live-streaming video through the app.

Meet Ying

Named the Ying drone, it is being marketed by WeChat’s parent company Tercent. While it is not yet officially released, the price tag is set to be very competitive, at around US$300.

The only slightly creepy promo video is available on YouTube.

It is expected to hit the market before the end of October.

Hardware & capabilities

The drone is foldable and will weigh only 425 grams. It’s aiming to be as portable as the current generation phones to which it will connect.

For a device that’s intended to enhance consumer’s experience of social networking, it’s boasting some pretty impressive specs. The Ying drone’s 13-megapixel camera will be able to capture 4k video. It will stream it at 720 HD, directly to a mobile device running WeChat.

China-only, for now

With around 90% of its users being based in China, it comes as no surprise that WeChat are launching the Ying drone exclusively in China. With around 70 million monthly users residing outside of China, there’s a chance Tercent will look to sell the drone elsewhere later.

Of course, interest in the drone could also drive international interest in the WeChat app.

If the venture succeeds, we could soon see other social networking outfits taking longer, harder looks at the potential for branded hardware integrations.

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