If you don’t know, our Robintrack review is here to help you understand what could have been. You may have done a double take here and thought that I just wrote Robinhood. Well you may be partially right. The two sites are directly connected to each other in many ways. Robinhood is the popular retail trading app that’s designed to allow the casual investor to buy and sell stocks. All from the convenience of their mobile phone. Robintrack is the entirely separate site. It was used to track trends and user preferences on the Robinhood app. One of the prime examples of this was the daily top ten stocks traded on Robinhood list. Many investors would refer to these as a part of their research into a company.
Robintrack was started by a 23 year old computer programmer named Casey Primozic who grew up in Seattle, Washington. While working for a small cryptocurrency startup, Primozic tapped into the data that Robinhood was providing. He created Robintrack to collect that data by using Robinhood’s API or or Application Programming Interface. It’s basically the way that applications communicate with each other in the background. Primozic, a longtime Robinhood user, started the site as a fun way to collect data on the popularity of stocks and how that had an effect on the pricing levels. Primozic began to get calls from high level fund managers . Even Robinhood itself called for an interview. He knew he’d stumbled onto something big. So here we are with a Robintrack review.
Can I Still Use Robintrack?
Unfortunately, Robinhood took down the API that relayed the stock tracking data in August of 2020. They cited that the way the data was being used painted Robinhood in a negative light as a day trading app; rather than a buy and hold platform.
At this point, Primozic was receiving offers and interest from hedge fund managers and other companies looking to create an algorithm from the information he’d gathered.
Robintrack was a rising star on Wall Street. But just as quickly as its popularity had ballooned, Robinhood decided to take it away.
It’s difficult to fault Robinhood for wanting to protect the information of its users. As there are few online investment platforms that would be willing to post these figures for public viewing.
Any data can be used by people for both positive and negative reasons. As a result, Robinhood just decided not to take that risk. Primozic did mention that Robinhood was open to providing this again in the future; perhaps in a different form.
However, they gave no indication of when or what that would look like. At that point, our Robintrack review would take on a different look.
What They Offered
Information. Nothing is more powerful than information. And while Primozic was merely trying to provide a service to other investors, there are those that could’ve taken that information and used it for the wrong reasons.
As mentioned before, the heart of Robintrack was a way to track the most popular stocks by trading volume on the Robinhood application; pretty much in real time. Here is an example of what it would look like on the Robintrack site.
As you can see, you can filter by time period. As well as the number of stocks you want to look up (1, 10, 50, 100 etc.). And the start and end columns are the number of total shares held in Robinhood accounts.
It’s a simple, yet extremely useful tool that shows exactly what retail investors are interested in. And what stocks they’re buying.
Primozic even threw in filters like the least and most popular stocks leaderboard as well as a retail trading barometer. It tracked the the aggregate absolute change in the number of users holding trackable assets in Robinhood versus the price of $SPY; one of the more prominent S&P 500 ETFs.
This Robintrack review lets us know, this is something we would have loved. We hope it comes back at some point; with safeguards in place.
Why the Interest in Robinhood?
Robinhood often gets a bad reputation. Especially amongst institutional investors, as well as on sites like FinTwit or StockTwits. Why is this?
Robinhood is associated with the emergence of mobile stock trading and getting the millennial generation into investing with little or no previous experience.
Robinhood users are generally typecast as not being very savvy and following tips they find on FinTwit or other easily accessible forums. Is this true?
Not necessarily. It’s difficult to say that a group of users of one investing platform are worse at investing than users on another platform. It’s just that Robinhood rose to prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, when investing to make money while at home rose in popularity.
Robinhood has become the name synonymous with stock trading amongst the younger generations. It’s caught the eye of hedge fund managers as a way of spotting trends amongst retail investors.
Which can provide insight into how a stock can reasonably be expected to perform. With these edges, you can see why so many people were interested in what Primozic was doing on Robintrack.
One theory as to why Robinhood did stop providing that data for the public to view, is that the Menlo Park, California based company is aggressively seeking a move to the public markets via an IPO.
This would make sense as once a company has ceded some of its control to shareholders, they do have to be held accountable for anything they do.
While providing that data is not illegal by any stretch, Robinhood could just be in a better safe than sorry mode while they seek to raise capital for a Wall Street debut.
What Is Robintrack?
- Our Robintrack review lets us know that this was a data site. It was able to track Robinhood data. Until they removed that capability. If you’ve paid attention to the news recently, you know Robinhood has come under fire a lot lately. As a result, getting rid of their public data, can help them on that front.
Can I Find the Robintrack Data Anywhere Else?
Not exactly. But there are other sites dedicated to gathering large amounts of investing data and organizing it into a tool that can be used to get a better picture of the market environment.
One of the more interesting groups in the online investing community is the subreddit community wallstreetbets. I’s composed of over 2 million active users who post all day long about trades and investment ideas.
Now I won’t go into the types of trades that wallstreetbets users make because you can read about some of that “stonks meme” stuff if you really want to. But one development that has risen from this subreddit group is SwaggyStocks.
Which is a website dedicated to tracking the mentions of stock ticker symbols within the wallstreetbets subreddit comments and posts.
With such a large group of members, the forums on wallstreetbets produce nearly 50,000 comments per day. And unless you have a ton of time on your hands, it’s impossible to parse through all that information before the markets close for the day.
Enter SwaggyStocks.com. It’s a site that accumulates all of the stock mentions and compiles them into an easy to use webpage for free.
As you can probably tell, it’s not necessarily the big names that are always the topic of discussion. Just as you find on many other platforms, penny stocks and growth stocks are often more popular.
It’s because of the amount they can run and the profit that can potentially be made in a short amount of time.
While SwaggyStocks shouldn’t really be used as your only place for investing research, it does provide an insight into a very large and powerful group of internet investors. Which does give you a nice population sample for market trends and stock information.
There is also an ongoing feed of comments and posts from the wallstreetbets subreddit for people on the SwaggyStocks site to see, as well as a wallstreetbets index to gauge the temperature and sentiment on the biggest stocks on the market.
Robintrack Review Final Thoughts
The fact that a 23-year old computer programmer was able to so easily access and lift data from Robinhood’s site is a remarkable feat. And one that got the attention of many people on Wall Street.
While Robintrack no longer exists in the form that made it popular, it was an interesting use case in how much high level hedge fund managers pay attention to the day to day minutiae and buying and selling of casual, retail investors.
It goes to show just how valuable this kind of information truly is. While nobody can blame Robinhood for making the decision to shut this API off, they have left the door open to reactivate it in the future in some capacity.
There are other sites that can be compared to what Robintrack did. Specifically SwaggyStocks.com which provides investors an insight into what the hottest and most talked about stocks are on wallstreetbets.
While much of this information is derived from the comments and posts of Reddit members, let’s remember that a data extraction API does not always filter out things like sarcasm or fake posts.
That is why the data on Robintrack was so valuable and accurate: it was cold, hard data that was taken right from the application itself in real-time.