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Gamestop and Robinhood: What Drove Reddit in 2021

The top three of Reddit's most upvoted posts in 2021 were from r/wallstreetbets.

If there's one thing driving both investing and online trends, it's WallStreetBets. In its annual roundup of its most upvoted posts in 2021, Reddit found that the top three all came from the Jaime Rogozinski-founded subreddit.

With more than 433,000 upvotes, the most popular post of the year was a user who paid for a Times Square billboard to read "$GME GO BRRR." Posted in January 2021, it highlighted the GameStop ( (GME) - Get Free Report) ticker just as online users were pushing its price to a high of $350 per share through a snowballing effect of online activity.

"Someone needs to open a GameStop across the ny stock exchange," user Sea_Arrival_6107 wrote under the post.

Reddit's second-most popular post was a tweet in which YouTuber FaZe Banks alleges that Robinhood ( (HOOD) - Get Free Report) hid rising meme stocks from the user base. While a Miami court later dismissed the allegations, the post encouraging users to "take all the cash you can afford to lose and buy buy buy" went viral.

Also from WallStreetBets, the third-most popular post was of Keith Gill, the financial analyst behind the Roaring Kitty profile, showing GameStop shares losing more $14 million in one day. Gill was among the first to fuel the meme stock mania of winter 2021 by posting a photo of a $53,000 investment in GameStop on WallStreetBets in 2019.

The remaining two of the top five posts are unrelated to the stock market: one is from the r/antiwork subreddit about quitting an unfulfilling job and the other is about a man who prevented a robbery. 

While the frenzy around WallStreetBets in early 2021 drove a large part of this year's results, Reddit use is on the rise in general. With 366 million posts, users posted 19% more than last year while the 2.3 billion comments are also up 12% from 2020.