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Curious which stocks were most discussed in 2011? Howard Lindzon has a unique answer: compiling a list of StockTwits' most actively tagged tickers.

Similar to Twitter, StockTwits is a social media site that shares messages in 140 characters or less, only its users focus on investment ideas and market insights.

"It was an incredible year for global financial markets," says Lindzon. "Five of the most volatile years in stock market history have now occurred since the year 2000. It seems like the 'shrinking world,' improved communication and social networks are increasing market volatility."

Certain stocks were more caught up in the shifting landscape than others. Their future potentials were often the hot topic for public debates.

Tickers are designated by dollar signs in front of the chosen ticker. For example, Google would be referred to as $GOOG, Apple would be $AAPL, and so on.

So, which stock tickers were most discussed on StockTwits in 2011? Here's the list of top stocks trading on the U.S. markets: (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) : Designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. Market cap of $388.52B. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.83, and P/FCF ratio at 12.92. The stock has gained 10.52% over the last year.

2. Operates as an online retailer in North America and internationally. Market cap of $80.77B. The stock has lost 19.08% over the last year.

3. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) : Provides banking and financial services to individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, corporations, and governments primarily in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $64.02B. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.2). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 19.28% over the last week.

4. Baidu: Provides Internet search services. Market cap of $43.0B. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.81% over the last week.

5. Google: Google is the world's most popular search engine. Market cap of $213.45B. 0The stock has gained 30.57% over the last year.

6. The Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS  ) : Provides investment banking, securities, and investment management services to corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Market cap of $46.56B. The stock has gained 0.69% over the last year.

7. Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) : Provides subscription based Internet services for TV shows and movies in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $4.39B. Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.48), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 14.6% over the last week.

8. Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) : Designs, manufactures, and markets wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Market cap of $7.89B. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.61% over the last week. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.57%.

9. Sina: Provides online media and mobile value-added services (MVAS) in the People's Republic of China. Market cap of $3.49B. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -8.97% below its SMA20, -24.91% below its SMA50, and -46.88% below its SMA200. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 20.17%.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman owns shares of AMZN. Data sourced from Finviz.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google,, and Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix, Google, The Goldman Sachs Group, Sina,, Apple, and Baidu. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. 

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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