Our obsession with Wayne's world and X Factor revealed

The UK is a nation obsessed with The X Factor and football, if the topics most frequently discussed on Facebook are anything to go by. This year the social networking site saw a greater rise in status updates referring to the World Cup, the reality show contestants Wagner and Cher and footballer Wayne Rooney than those mentioning any other topic.

One Direction, the boy band X Factor finalists, were the fifth fastest growing topic, according to the figures released by the website.

But the country's 26 million Facebook users were not entirely absorbed with sport and celebrity: a hint of interest in politics and war was displayed too, with British soldiers and David Cameron the sixth and seventh fastest growing terms mentioned.

Big Brother contestant John James, rapper Tinie Tempah and television show Celebrity Juice were the eighth, ninth and 10th fastest growing topics respectively. But nothing appeared to arouse quite as much interest as this year's global football tournament in South Africa, which was discussed more than three million times.

Subjects that divided opinion did particularly well, with the vuvuzela plastic horn rising rapidly up Facebook's list of popular status update phrases in 2010.

Manchester United striker Rooney's prolonged contract negotiations also provoked much debate on the site.

The general election provided a focal point for political discussions this year, with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg enjoying a surge in Facebook support before the country went to the polls.

Users also showed support for British troops fighting overseas, with a big growth in conversations encouraging people to buy a poppy in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.

Globally, popular topics of discussion in status updates included the World Cup, films, iPad and iPhone technology, Haiti and teen pop sensation Justin Bieber.

Facebook compiled the UK data by aggregating status updates from 26 million people using the site around the country and analysing the most frequently used terms. They looked at which terms grew the most in status updates in 2010 compared to the year before.