Hornet
Hornet Registration
Hornet Messaging
Hornet Profile

Our Review

Hornet claims to be the # 1 gay social network. It enables men to connect in more meaningful ways than just dating and hookups. It is "a community that comes together around shared experience and common interests". Besides its online dating functions, the main website also supplies a platform with original, though-provoking content tailored for gay and bi men. The app is available in numerous languages other than English like Japanese, Polish, Afrikaans, Indonesian, Simplified Chinese, and so much more. Since its launch in 2011, Hornet has gained 25 million users worldwide.

Member Structure

Members
500,000 from Australia
Members activity
1,000,000 daily logins
  • Majority of worldwide members come from the 18 - 34 age group
  • Each user logs in at an average 7 times every day
  • 250+ million messages are sent weekly
  • Caucasians dominate the global user base followed by Latinos in the USA and Asians for the rest of the world

Members on this app are very active, with over 4 million monthly active users. Collectively, 500+ million minutes are spent on the app weekly. In the USA, Caucasians make up more than half of the members at 55%, followed by Latinos at 16%, then African-Americans at 9%. For the rest of the world, Caucasians still dominate at 42%, this time followed by Asians at 28%, then Latinos at 9.5%. Per user, an average of 100+ minutes is spent on the app weekly.

Signing Up

Hornet Registration
  • Can be done in literally 5 seconds
  • You can only register through your Google or Facebook account
  • No password needed
  • You're given an automatic 5-character username

You need an existing Facebook or Google account to be able to access Hornet. Once you choose either of the options, you are immediately redirected to the Hornet home page and you can use the service as a standard member. The registration is so quick, it can take 5 seconds (or less, depending on your internet connection). You are assigned an automated username and you can add your password in your Account Settings later. You also have to add your profile photo(s) later.

Making Contact

Hornet Messaging
  • Unlimited for all users
  • No compiled messaging page on the PC version
  • Chat box format
  • Sending messages to other users is free for everyone
  • There is a chatroom

Messaging on Hornet is available for everyone forever. Though this is a big advantage, this could also pose security risks because anyone can just send you messages. Our rating would've been a perfect 5 if only Hornet applied a filter for messages sent by non-friends that you could accept or reject. A message request filter, if you will. Unfortunately, there isn't an inbox where you can find all your messages compiled for your convenience. The names of the users you've conversed with are on the bottom right of your homepage, and you have to click through every single one. A tiny chat box will appear from the bottom of the screen. You can't view your messages as full screen.

Profile Quality

Hornet Profile
  • Shows a member's follower count
  • STD status is available, but displaying it is not mandatory
  • Activity feed - updates on members' most recent activities
  • The profiles are not very detailed
  • Profile pictures are visible to everyone for free
  • Password, profile photos, personal information can be edited later

Even though you can start browsing through the website with only your email on record, you are still sent a handy reminder by the Hornet team. "Guys with completed profiles get way more attention! Make sure your profile is up-to-date including photos, text and other info." You are then given a link that redirects to your profile settings where you can edit your full name, username, headline, age, role (top/bottom/vers, etc.), weight, height, ethnicity, relationship, looking for, STD status. Although recommended, none of these are mandatory. Which means you can come across a few incomplete, seedy profiles on Hornet.

App

Hornet App
  • Has a separate inbox page unlike the PC version
  • Still has the Stories section
  • Full of ads
  • Users report issues with spam bots
  • Messages and attachments sent can't be undone or deleted

The mobile app has a better design than the PC version. Overall it's smoother and easier to navigate. The Stories section (with all the articles, photos and videos) is still there but relegated to a secondary tab. The highlights here are your matches (according to filters or location) and your messages. It's user-friendly and mobile-optimized. If you choose to sign up for Hornet, using it on the mobile app is your best bet. 

Real Life Review

"Hornet is a MUST when travelling. The Events feature is more useful than I would like to admit. My boyfriend and I have met so many friends abroad thanks to this feature. It's become a Facebook type of app, but specifically for gays. We don't have to go through filters and tags to find people and content that serve our lifestyle. Personally, our encounters with fake accounts have been zero to nil, but that may be because our profile is set up as couple. We can't speak for singles. Speaking of, when we feel like inviting someone else to warm our bed, we typically go for Grindr since it serves that purpose more. There's so many restrictions on Hornet when it comes to R rated stuff, it's crazy." - Gay Couple (24 & 29)

Design and Usability

If you look at the Stories tab, it looks like a legitimate entertainment website that's interesting enough to maybe spend an hour on. However, when you go to the social networking part, the left and right sides are filled with ads that cramp up the space. While years of being digital natives have made us immune to ads, the arrangement on Hornet really irks and disturbs the experience. There's also the confusing decision of prioritizing the list of new members on the top tab while your messages are sequestered to the bottom right. Who thought that users would want to check out new members first instead of the conversations they have with people they're already interested in? The little things build up and make for an annoying browsing experience.

Hornet Costs and Prices

Free Services
  • Upload public and private photos
  • Search and browse other profiles
  • View photos
  • Send and receive messages
  • Unlimited blocks
Fee based Services
  • See who checked out your profile
  • Search guys with all filters
  • Upload unlimited profile photos
  • View unlimited profile photos
  • Remove ads
Duration / Credits / CoinsCosts per monthTotal
VIP
?
All prices are expressed in USD
1 Month9.99 USD / Month9.99 USD
3 Months8.66 USD / Month25.99 USD
12 Months4.67 USD / Month55.99 USD

Is Hornet expensive or cheap?

In comparison to other providers Hornet is upper moderate.

Hornet Premium
Payment Options
  • Credit Card

With the premium membership, you can unlock the full features of Hornet. You can use the advanced search settings instead of just @user or #tag. Membership packages are in 1-month, 3-month, and annual increments. Transactions are auto-renewed but you can cancel anytime.

Special Features

Stories

Hornet's main website looks like an online magazine with official news and entertainment articles. Though they have an in-house editorial staff, some of these articles and stories are actually submitted by Hornet members themselves. Anyone can apply to be a community writer and submit "witty, heartfelt, and outrageous stories or experiences". In addition to the written word, members can also submit pictures and videos. Before submitting your story, you have to pitch it to Hornet by posting a brief description in their Stories Discussion forum. They can then decide whether it's right for the website or not.

Events

Events are, well, the upcoming LGBT events near your area. It's more like a bulletin post rather than the Facebook Event you're probably accustomed to. Only the details of the event are posted with no sort of interactivity available (i.e. Facebook's Going/Interested/Not going). It's up to you to personally show up to these events. If you attend, you are not protected by Hornet's terms and privacy policy anymore, so practice common sense in choosing events.

Places

An app called Vespa was "an extensive and carefully curated database of places and events in 300 cities in 70 countries" for the gay millenial generation. Vespa was the leading city gay guide and it was acquired by Hornet in 2016, then renamed to Hornet Places. Just as well, because news outlets revealed that Vespa's founder and CEO Christof Wittig was appointed as the new CEO of Hornet. On the same page as Events but a different tab, you'll find Places. These are listed areas near your location by LGBT men for LGBT men. Places include testing centers, gyms, spas, dive bars, underground piano bars, disco clubs, and more.

Our rating

Signing Up: 4.0 / 5
Making Contact: 4.0 / 5
Profile Quality: 2.0 / 5
App: 3.0 / 5
Real Life Review: 3.5 / 5

Editors Conclusion

Photo Chris
Hornet, as a social network, is a glittering success. It has plenty of members evenly distributed throughout the world (its key markets are France, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and Taiwan), it provides original and refreshing content, and it facilitates connections not limited to the romantic kind. Thanks to its features, you can easily make new friends abroad. However, it is quite lacking on the online dating side. On the desktop, the website is more focused on showing you who just recently signed up rather than cultivating your relationship with the guys you've already exchanged messages with. For similar online dating services with more upfront motives, check our Casual Dating service category.

FAQ

Facts

What is Hornet?

Hornet is a gay social networking service not just used for hooking up or dating. In here you can find people with mutual interests, partners, vacation buddies, even jobs, and many more.

How does the Hornet app work?

Hornet uses your GPS information to find gay and bi men in your city close to you. To enjoy this, you have to turn on your location-sharing feature (which is the default, anyway). 

Is the Hornet app safe?

As part of its new privacy policy, Hornet randomly changes your distance as it is displayed in the app, so no one can ever know your exact location and to protect users from location triangulation. However, sending out private information (like racy photos or contact details) is still under your jurisdiction and you must share these only with the people you really trust. You can read more of this on their terms and conditions page.

Is there a Hornet blog?

Yes. Articles, news reports, forums, guides, and so much more are available on the homepage of the Hornet website.

Is there a Hornet app for Windows phones?

As of the time of writing, no. It's only available for Android and iOS.

Is the Hornet app available for Blackberry?

As of the time of writing, no. It's only available for Android and iOS.

Is Hornet available on the PC?

Yes. Just go to Hornet.com and provide your login details.

Is there a Hornet app for straight people?

For heterosexual apps with similar purposes, check out our Casual Dating service category.

Usability

What does the orange dot mean?

The orange dot/s represent the number of profile photos a member has. If you see multiple dots, you can swipe down to see more of their photos. A dot with a handle on top (visualizing a lock) is a private photo and you have to request access to see it.

How can I see someone's private photos?

Go to their profile and click on the blurred photos with the lock icons. You'll see the question "Request access?" then click Yes. 

How can I upload more photos?

On the top right of the web page, click on the drop-down arrow right beside your username. Choose "My Profile". Click on the + icon, choose whether you want a public or private photo, then upload.

How do I logout of Hornet?

On the top right of the web page, click on the drop-down arrow right beside your username. Choose "Log Out".

How do I deactivate my Hornet account?

On the top right of the web page, click on the drop-down arrow right beside your username. Choose "Account", then scroll to the very bottom and select "Delete account". This is an irreversible action.

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Infos

Adress:Flat 27A Tower 1 The Orchards 3 Greig Road Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
E-Mail:feedback@gethornet.com