What is Hornet? The gay dating app that lets you ‘sting’ men

Hornet – like Grindr and Jack’d – is a dating app for gay men, but with an added community edge, including LGBTQ+ news and city guides. Here’s all you need to know.

Launched in 2011, Hornet is self-billed as the “world’s premier gay social network”, which makes it “fun and easy for gay, bi and curious guys to connect with each other”

With more than 25 million users worldwide, the app is widely used in countries like the France, Brazil, Russia, and Turkey, and is popular with a niche UK audience.

On the app, guys can find men near them – like on Grindr – who they can then message or “follow” in order to receive updates when they make changes to their profiles.

Users can also search for men in different locations worldwide. Similarly to Grindr, guys can meet up for casual hook-ups – but the app also allows men to form friendships or lasting relationships with other users.

The app is also geared more as a LGBT+ community hub than Grindr. On top of dating, users can read LGBT+ news and city guides provided by Hornet’s in-house editorial team.

Related: Gay dating apps: A comprehensive guide to Jack’d, Grindr, Hornet, Scruff and the rest

What’s Hornet’s history?

Software entrepreneur Christof Wittig and activist and financier Sean Howell founded the app in 2011, with the mission to build the “digital home” for the gay community.

Since then, Hornet has grown steadily. The app has also made key acquisitions along the way in order to add to its offering.

These include LGBTQ+ online magazine Unicorn Booty, which provides Hornet’s editorial content, and gay city guide experts Vespa, who provide the app’s travel guides.

The app has a big following in countries like France, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and Taiwan.

Where can you get Hornet?

Hornet is available as a free app on IOS, Android, and the web.

Who is the app specifically designed for?

The app targets a diverse range of gay, bisexual and curious men.

Still, Hornet’s editorial content appeals to the wider LGBT+ community, so Hornet could appeal to women and non-binary people interested in reading about LGBT+ issues.

There is an age limit of 18 or older for using the app.

Related: What is Gaydar? Does it work like other gay dating apps, and can I join for free?

How do users interact with the app?

Users can create interactive profiles to show off their main interests and hobbies.

The app has three key options: “guys”, which allows users to browse men near them; “stories”, where they can read Hornet’s in-house news and features; and “places” where users can read about LGBT+ venues and events in their city.

Guys can “follow”, “sting” or message other users, or forward profiles to friends who might be interested.

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