The Person of the Year tradition started in 1927 when aviator Charles Lindbergh became the first recipient. Zuckerberg joins a host of former world leaders including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler John F Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama as well as technology grandees including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Zuckerberg had been an early favourite for the award, eventually beating the likes of WikiLeak's Julian Assange, the US Tea Party movement, the Chilean Miners, Apple's Steve Jobs and Afghanistan leader Hamid Karzai.
Zuckerberg's success is hardly surprising given the unprecedented year that Facebook has had, including massive user growth and a number of controversial issues surrounding data security and user privacy. 2010 also saw the release of the movie, The Social Network, which charted the rise of Facebook and which is tipped to be a contender in the Best Film category at next years Academy Awards.
Here's what the publication had to say about why they chose Zuck: "For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME's 2010 Person of the Year.
Time editor Rick Stengel made the announcement of Zuckerberg's selection saying that, "More than half a billion people on the planet live in a world created by Mark Zuckerberg. The good news is, their friends all live there too. Zuckerberg founded the social networking site Facebook in his college dorm six years ago, but 2010 was the year that Facebook reached critical mass, both in sheer quantity of users and in its presence (through its 'connect' features) all over the Web."
The profile continued, "Zuckerberg spent much of the year fighting privacy concerns, and this fall he had to shake off a movie that depicted him as an alienated loner, hacking to get girls. But the world's youngest billionaire has no plans to slow Facebook's growth, nor does it show any sign of stopping."