Reddit Recap 2021: The Most Popular Threads of The Year Revealed

In an annual roundup, Reddit has listed its most popular threads of 2021, with the gaming and cryptocurrency topics leading the pack by quite some margin.

Similar to Spotify Wrapped, the Reddit Recap feature provides a snapshot of user activity from the past year. It contains data on things like the most upvoted posts, the Ask Me Anything (AMA) interviews that received the most attention, and the conversation topics that people seemed to be particularly drawn to.

In terms of general stats, the 2021 review indicates that Reddit experienced a huge surge in popularity over the last 12 months, with a 19% year-on-year increase in posts (with 366 million being created) and a 12% rise in comments (with over 2 billion).

This growth is hardly surprising, given that Reddit has become a favorite destination for those looking to talk about video games or to seek online financial advice (as evidenced by the GameStop stock boom phenomenon earlier this year).

Speaking of which, gaming and cryptocurrency turned out to be the dominant topics on Reddit in 2021, with both featuring prominently in the lists of biggest threads. Meanwhile, wholesome animal content seemed to do well in terms of livestreams, with all three of the top broadcasts being devoted to this specific subject.

Below is an overview of the most interesting discoveries from the 2021 Reddit Recap.

As with Spotify Wrapped, there will later be an opportunity to see your own personal data (with insights on how you've been using the website as an individual), but this feature has yet to debut.

The Most Popular Posts, AMAs and Discussion Themes

Reddit Recap 2021 Art
Image shows the keyart for Reddit Recap 2021. Reddit

Before we delve into any specifics, Reddit has provided lists of its most popular discussion topics from the past year.

As you can imagine, a lot of the individual posts here are to do with the GameStop "Wall Street Bets" situation from January. The r/antiwork subreddit (which is a forum for those who are struggling with the pressures of their jobs) also got a lot of attention in 2021, and even managed to attract over a million members.

Here is the full breakdown of Reddit's data.

The Most Upvoted Reddit Posts of 2021

  1. r/wallstreetbets: Times Square right now (431K upvotes)
  2. r/wallstreetbets: UPVOTE so everyone sees we got SUPPORT (322K upvotes)
  3. r/wallstreetbets: GME YOLO update — Jan 28 2021 (286K upvotes)
  4. r/antiwork: Quit my job last night, it was nice to be home to make the kids breakfast and take them to school today! Off to hunt for a new opportunity, wish me luck :) (270K upvotes)
  5. r/nextf*ckinglevel: Dodging a cash-in-transit robbery. The man has b*lls of steel (258K upvotes)

The Most Upvoted AMA Interviews of 2021

  1. I'm a lobster diver who recently survived being inside of a whale. AMA! (90.9K upvotes)
  2. I'm Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and author of "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster." Ask Me Anything (66.6K upvotes)
  3. Hi, I'm Todd Howard, Game Director and Executive Producer at Bethesda Game Studios. Ask Me Anything. Thanks! (38K upvotes)

The Most Popular Reddit Discussion Themes of 2021

  1. Cryptocurrency
  2. Gaming
  3. Sports
  4. Weddings
  5. Health and Fitness
  6. Food and Drink
  7. Movies and Television

Cryptocurrency Dominated Reddit in 2021

Dogecoin Representation
Image shows visual representations of digital cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin and Bitcoin. Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

Cryptocurrency was hands down the most popular theme on Reddit in 2021, with 6.6 million mentions of the word across the website between January and November.

For the most part, this engagement came in the form of people wanting guidance on how to invest smartly in cryptocurrency. However, there were also plenty of discussions about how the mainstream media reports on things like memecoins.

The most viewed communities within the field were r/dogecoin, r/cryptocurrency, r/amcstock, r/bitcoin, and , with the latter experiencing a staggering 917,000% increase in engagement when compared to 2020.

As for the most upvoted posts, these included things like Who's still holding $DOGE? (80,000 upvotes) and Tesla buys $1.5b in Bitcoin and is looking to accept the crypto as a form of payment in the near future (45,500 upvotes).

The full list is as follows:

  1. r/dogecoin: Who's still holding $DOGE? (80K upvotes)
  2. r/superstonk: All the confirmation bias I need, right here in one tweet (66.3K upvotes)
  3. r/cryptocurrency: You hear about the kid who put in $500 into a memecoin and made 100k, but you don't hear about the hundreds who put $1000 and are left with $0.1 (53.9K upvotes)
  4. r/amcstock: AMC YOU IN JAIL, CHEATERS (26.6K upvotes)
  5. r/bitcoin: Tesla buys $1.5b in Bitcoin and is looking to accept the crypto as a form of payment in the near future... (45.5K upvotes)

'League of Legends' and 'Star Wars' Led the Gaming Conversation

Arcane Keyart
Image shows keyart for "Arcane", Netflix's annimated prequel series for "League of Legends". Riot Games

As you can see from the above list, gaming was another huge theme for Reddit in 2021, which is no surprise given that this is what the platform is mainly known for.

New releases that gained a lot of traction from redditors this year included Pokemon Unite and Biomutant (which saw 8,600% and 9,500% subscriber increases respectively). As for enduring favorites, Genshin Impact and League of Legends (LoL) both continued to be hotly discussed topics. In fact, a predictions thread for the LoL Worlds esport Championship ended up producing the third most upvoted gaming post of the year.

The top-five gaming communities in 2021 were r/genshinimpact, r/leagueoflegends, r/gaming, r/rpclipsgta (which is dedicated to the GTA online roleplay servers) and r/ffxiv.

Meanwhile, the most upvoted post of the year was a meme that parodied how male gamers often respond to the opposite sex online (by switching the roles around). This was then followed by a subreddit celebrating the fact that EA will no longer have exclusive rights to make Star Wars games anymore, after many felt that the publisher had mishandled the licence with botched releases like Battlefront 2.

Finally, the third most popular AMA of the year was with Todd Howard. Here fans inundated the Bethesda executive with questions about Starfield, The Elder Scrolls 6, Amazon's upcoming Fallout series and the developer's history of putting out notoriously buggy games.

Here is the list of the most upvoted gaming Reddit posts of 2021.

  1. boy gamer (220K upvotes)
  2. r/gaming: EA will no longer have exclusive rights of the Star Wars games(173K upvotes)
  3. r/leagueoflegends: Worlds 2021 Prediction Tournament (83.2K upvotes)
  4. r/leagueoflegends: AOC featuring her clutch Baron snipe on IG (48.6K upvotes)
  5. r/ffxiv: Times change (20.1K upvotes)

Redditors Also Have a Soft Spot for Animals

It's not all Dogecoin and Star Wars outrage though, as it turns out that redditors also love to observe nature.

Indeed, the top three public access livestreams on Reddit this year were all dedicated to animals. They are as follows:

  1. r/animalsonreddit: M to the B (22.8K upvotes)
  2. r/animalsonreddit: Duck hatch livestream. The last two eggs (11.9K upvotes)
  3. r/animalsonreddit: Happy Beeaster Sunday (11.4K upvotes)

The first of these depicts a swarm of Italian honeybees, while the third one also catered to aspiring apiarists with a look inside a bustling hive. Sandwiched between the two bee livestreams was a video broadcasting from within a duck hatchery.

The live chats these streams were mainly comprised of people sharing information about the creatures in questions, or just checking in on their favorite specimens. They're a lot more wholesome than you might expect (with very few arguments or insults being hurled around) and it's enough to restore your faith in the internet.

For more information on how to see your own personalized Reddit year in review, check back in with Newsweek on December 9 when the feature actually launches.

Reddit Logo on a Smartphone
Image shows the Reddit logo displayed on a smartphone. LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images