Welcome to today’s review where we will be taking a deep dive into Hornet, an extremely popular site for gay men from around the world.
Hornet is a little different from most dating sites and in this review, we are going to find out why.
We will also look at the following:
That’s a lot of knowledge at your fingertips once you’ve finished this review.
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And that knowledge will help you to decide whether Hornet a site where you should sign up or not.
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Hornet Review in Video Form
Audio (podcast) form for those of you on the go
Ease of Use – 5/5
Effectiveness – 5/5
Key Features – 3/5
Pricing – 4/5
- Over 25 million users worldwide
- Beautifully designed website with social networking aspects
- Very well priced membership features
- Free messaging
- Few key features
Who Is It For/Demographics?
Hornet is much more than a dating site.
So, if you’re here for regular hookups (like BeNaughty or Ashley Madison offers) or regular dating (like Tinder or eHarmony offers), then this is not the site for you.
In fact, the team behind Hornet claims that it’s the top social network on the web for gay men.
And that’s its primary target.
But Hornet is trying to move above the regular dating and hook ups by building a community, hence the emphasis that this is not only a dating site but a social networking one as well.
And Hornet builds that social networking aspect and the overall community feel by promoting “shared experiences and common interests” as it looks to move past the fact that most people see gay dating sites as places for no-strings-attached encounters and hook ups more than anything else.
That approach seems to be paying off as well, especially in terms of how active the site it.
Globally, Hornet says that since 2011, they have registered over 25 million users.
With those kinds of numbers, it’s easy to see why they claim to be one of the top gay dating and social networking sites online, right?
But let’s break that down a little further to give you more of an idea of just how active Hornet is:
- Over 3 million Hornet users are from the United States
- Around 1 million users log in each day
- Around 250 million messages are sent on Hornet over a seven day period
- Users log in up to seven times per day
That’s some stellar numbers, you would agree, I am sure.
In fact, Hornet is so popular around the world that it has language versions in Japanese, Polish, Chinese, Indonesia, Afrikaans, and even more.
Population group breakdown
Hornet is used by all population groups.
The biggest is Caucasians who make up a large percentage of users onsite, but here’s a complete breakdown for you from the United States and then a global perspective.
First, the United States:
- Caucasians – 55%
- Latinos – 16%
- African American – 9%
- Other – 20%
- Caucasians – 42%
- Asians – 28%
- Latinos – 9%
- Other – 11%
In terms of the most active age ranges, I wasn’t able to find a full breakdown in that regard.
My research, however, did indicate that the biggest group of users found on Hornet are from 18-24 years old and then 25-34 years old.
But enough about the statistics, let’s get onto how the site operates.
Ease of Use
It seems like quite a few users make use of the Hornet app to browse the site.
I set up my profile using the website, however.
That turned out to be a stress-free event and took a few minutes to complete.
So what kind of information is Hornet looking for to help you register for a profile?
Well, to start off, you will have to provide your email address and a password.
But then Hornet wants a little more information like:
- A display name
- You age
- Email address (again)
- A user name
- A bio
- A profile picture
- What you want to use the site for (chat, dates, friends, networking or relationships)
- Your current relationship status (five options to choose from here, for example, single or in an open relationship)
- Interests (over 30 to choose from)
You are allowed to skip all of these, but it takes just five minutes to complete plus that helps flesh out your profile which other users want to see.
Once you’ve done that, you are taken straight to the site.
And I am not going to lie, I was blown away by the overall design.
Hornet site design and finding your way around
Hornet has such a simple design, yet it is so pleasing to the eye and effective too.
And yes, I would agree that this is both a social networking site and a dating site.
You will immediately notice that the page is split into three distinct panels.
On the left-hand side, you have a range of menus which I will discuss shortly.
In the middle, there is a Facebook-style newsfeed where you can see updates from other users.
On the right-hand side, you have a number of adverts.
Let’s talk about the newsfeed first.
Well, it’s not only other user updates you can see here but you can make your own as well.
And yes, you can post photos as well.
The menus you will find on the left are the business end of the website.
Here is where you will do most of your navigation.
These menus are:
- Feed: Takes you back to the main feed so see user updates
- Discover: Here you can search for matchups
- Chat: This menu takes you to the chat function where you can talk to other users
- Stories: A new-like feature that includes stories from all over but with a gay angle
- Groups: Here you can find Hornet’s community programs that you can join up with. For example, you could become a writer for the website.
- Shop: Here you can buy Hornet Points which is the currency the site uses
You will also notice a symbol menu on the top right of the screen.
This just repeats the home, search, chat and shop menus and also includes a notification menu and a link to your profile.
Again, just playing around on the site and finding what everything did make me appreciate the design even more.
It’s uncluttered and everything is where it should be.
Many other datings sites are far too busy.
Hornet is just perfect.
The Hornet profile
Your profile and those of the other users on Hornet is well laid out and contains all the important information someone would want to see at a quick glance.
What I also like is the fact that other than your profile picture, you can add even more photos.
Let’s be honest, the more visual aspects a profile has the better because often on a dating site, it’s someone’s looks that attract us first before we find out anything more about thing to reinforce that attraction.
So not only can you select photos as featured photos but you can add private photos.
Another thing you will notice on other profiles, as well as your own, is a follower count.
These are users that are following that profile.
So if someone follows you, when you make a status update, it will appear in their news feed.
While Hornet may be marketed as a social networking site with a dating aspect, it’s the dating side of things we have to judge it on.
And in truth, this is essentially a dating site with social networking aspects I feel and it seems like many of the users on the site use it in that manner.
I mean, it provides you with all the same tools a dating site would, for example, a search engine to find like-minded individuals and communication tools to get to know them better.
Searching for potential matchups on Hornet
So there are two ways to go about searching for someone to connect with on Hornet.
The first is to click on the Discover button.
That takes you to a page with some matchups that are already presented.
These are location-based for the most part and are users that are near your location.
Of course, you are free to browse through these returns and find out more about these users but you can also launch a search of your own.
It’s not that clear how to do that at first and I spent some time going through the profiles that Hornet had returned to me before I notice on the right-hand side of the page there were tabs that I could click.
Each of these launched a specific search of their own.
These tabs are:
- Nearby (the default search that Hornet performs when you click on the Discover tab)
- New guys (new users that have joined up and are near to your location)
- Hornet contributors (those that contribute to the Hornet community. They might not be near your location)
- Hornet health ambassadors (those users that have been appointed Hornet health ambassadors. They might not be near your location)
- Guys you follow (any users that you have chosen to follow)
- Followers (people who follow you)
- Matches (your matches on Hornet)
- Who checked you out (see who viewed your profile. For members only)
- Search with filters (you can add filters to your search. For members only)
So yes, there’s a range of ways that you can turn up a variety of matchups to look through.
Of course, you’d probably want to use filters of your own but yes, you’d need to be a member for that.
The filters that you can adjust in searches like this are:
- Age range
- Relationship status
- What they are looking for
How do you contact someone?
Perhaps one of the best things about the fact that Hornet is a social networking and dating site all rolled into one is the fact that you can send all the messages you want without having to pay a dime.
Yes, messaging is free.
It really does make a huge difference in using the site, that’s for sure and sets it apart from other dating sites where messaging is a membership privilege.
Note, there is still membership available for the site and it provides other features that you might be interested in.
Buying into one of Hornet’s membership offerings will provide you with a number of key features
1. No ads
I must admit, I didn’t find the advertising on Hornet to be intrusive at all.
Yes, it is there all the time but it’s placed in positions on the website where it’s not going to get in your way and doesn’t prove to be annoying.
If you’ve tried other dating sites that rely on advertising to boost revenue, you would have seen quite a few where it can become incredibly annoying.
Still, it’s nice to have all the advertising removed, no matter how subtle it is and if you become a paying member of Hornet, that’s exactly what will happen.
2. Premium search filters
Earlier in the review, I talked about how to search for matchups.
Regular users, however, do not have access to premium search filters like members do.
There aren’t that many of these filters but it’s always nice to have extras to build into a search to find that perfect someone.
3. Unlimited photo uploads
On dating sites, photos speak for you when you cannot.
That’s why many of them include the ability to upload more photos as part of their membership package.
Hornet is no different and here you can upload as many pictures as you like without having to worry about hitting a limit.
4. See who viewed your profile
Often underplayed as a valuable tool in the online dating game, the ability to see who has viewed your profile is invaluable in my eyes.
Well, generally, when browsing through matchups, what do you do?
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You skim past people that you are immediately attracted to, right?
Those that you are interested in, well then you would click on their profile, right?
That means that someone who has clicked on your profile has some interest in you.
And perhaps they just haven’t gotten around to messaging you yet, or they are shy.
There’s no harm in your following up on that interest by initiating contact from your side, is there?
While messaging is free, I think you’d agree that some of the key features that are only available for members are worth considering, especially premium search filters.
But having said that, Hornet’s pricing is going to have to be competitive enough because while they may prove useful, there aren’t actually that many key features for members.
So what’s membership of the site going to cost?
Well, it is competitive and here’s a breakdown:
- 1-month membership – $9.99
- 3-month membership – $25.99 ($8.66 per month)
- 12-month membership – $55.99 ($4.67 per month)
Now that’s clever pricing.
Just think about other dating sites for gay men.
First of all, they don’t have unlimited free messaging and I can guarantee that their one-month membership pricing isn’t as cheap as Hornet.
Other dating sites charge even more for a single month of membership that Hornet charges for three months.
So yes, although there aren’t that many key features, the fact that you are just going to have to pay $9.99 per month to access them more than makes up for that.
Conclusion and Overall Rating
Thanks for reading this comprehensive view of Hornet.
And while we’ve had to approach it from the point of view of a dating site, it is so much more than that.
Hornet is a social networking hub, that’s for sure and I would highly recommend it.
There’s just so much going on here other than the ability to getting into contact with other like-minded individuals.
What I like about it as well as the fact that Hornet is always looking for individuals to help grow the community.
You can get involved in so many ways, from becoming a beta tester to writing articles for the site or perhaps just becoming one of the feature profiles.
From a dating perspective, Hornet is blessed in so many ways.
For example, it has 25 million users!
That’s a sensational number, right?
The best thing about that as well is that users are found all over the world, so the odds of finding a potential matchup near your location are stacked in your favor, that’s for sure.
Lastly, the other thing that stood out for me about Hornet is how the website is designed.
It’s not only easy to navigate, functional to use and pleasing on the eye, it just fun to use.
And that makes looking for love so much easier instead of becoming a chore.
So Hornet gets a rating of 4.25 out of 5.
Have you used Hornet?
If you did, did you enjoy the site?
If not, based on this review, is Hornet a site you would consider using?
Let us know in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s start with the fact that Hornet has over 25 million users.
That alone shows you that the website is indeed safe.
Part of that safety is provided by the fact that you will need a validated email address to sign up for a profile.
Also, your private and banking details are kept behind security firewalls too.
Should you wish to, you can request a copy of the type of personal data that Hornet keeps about you.
You can use Hornet for free and establish contact with other users without having to ever pay a cent.
Yes, messaging on the platform is free.
There are other features that you may be interested in and that means signing up for a membership package.
Hornet is not only a dating site but has many social networking aspects as well.
And they are always looking for contributors too in many different areas of the site.
Hornet is a social networking and dating site for gay men from around the globe.
It has around 25 million users with around 3 million of them from the United States.
Hornet also encourages users to become involved in the site and to help it grow even more.
Register a profile on the Hornet website to become a user on the site.
If you’d like to you can download the Hornet app and sign up in that manner as well.
The app is available for both Apple and Android handsets.
If you’d like to delete your Hornet account, the process to follow is a relatively simple one.
First, click on your profile picture on the right-hand side of the page.
Then select “Account”.
Now find the “Delete Account” option near the bottom of the page on the left-hand side.
Click it and your account and user info will be erased.
To contact Hornet, you can send an email to [email protected]
If you prefer to send them a regular mail, address it to:
3 Greig Road
Hornet provides matches for you first up by using your location.
Those initial matches returned will all be close to where you find yourself.
That said, you can launch searches of your own with a very basic search function.
If you’d like to add more search features, you will need to become a member of the site.
Users can either be blocked or reported on Hornet.
To do either, click on the user profile you want to block or report.
Look for the three vertical dots beside the “Follow” button and click on that.
From there, choose either block or report and follow the instructions.