Gay mobile social network Hornet now has more than 1 million users and will soon launch an iPad app, the company revealed today.
San Francisco-based Hornet launched in January 2012 and has raised $500,000 in seed funding. It offers social and dating features for “gay, bi, and curious guys” with profiles, messaging, and “stealth mode” for anonymity.
The service has been growing quickly even while facing competition from Grindr, the reigning king of the gay mobile space. (Grindr claims to have more than 6 million users.) About a year ago, Hornet had 150,000 users doing 100,000 sessions per day. Now it has 1 million users who have engaged in 178 million sessions.
Hornet CEO Sean Howell told us that the app prides itself on providing a safe space for men to meet each other, but it isn’t a “sleazy” experience.
“The gay space is hyper competitive, and we’re showing that you can have a less sleazy app and do well, which is a common misconception about the space,” Howell said. “Nearly all of our profiles contain tame face pics as profile pics versus other players out there.”
Like many other popular mobile services, Hornet has apps for iPhone and Android. Howell said both apps see a lot of traction but usage patterns are slightly different on each platform. For example, Android users send 22 percent more messages than iOS users, and iOS users send 37 percent more pictures. New York City is the most popular city for iOS users while Hollywood is the most popular city for Android users. App usage is highest before and after work hours.
Next up for the service is the launch of an iPad app, which will happen in a week. This move will likely help the brand reach even more users.