Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time's Person of the Year, following other tech magnates such as Andy Grove, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
Time magazine clicked "Like" on
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, naming him its 2010 Person of the Year. Previous
tech luminaries to make that list include Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, former
Intel CEO Andy Grove, and Microsoft magnate Bill Gates, who shared the honor
with his wife Melinda and U2 singer Bono.
"Facebook has merged with the social fabric of American life, and not just
American but human life: nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook account,
but 70 percent of Facebook users live outside the U.S.,"
Dec. 15 article
. "We have entered the Facebook age, and Mark Zuckerberg is
the man who brought us here."
The article also describes Zuckerberg as possessing "weapons-grade mental
hardware" and self-control "so total that he drives an Acura when he could
afford a Bentley." The 26-year-old Facebook CEO is also the second-youngest
Person of the Year, following Charles Lindbergh in 1927.
Even before Time's announcement,
Zuckerberg was well on his way to becoming a cultural icon of sorts. Earlier
this year, David Fincher's film "The Social
portrayed him as a Machiavellian figure, backstabbing friends on
his way to making Facebook an Internet powerhouse. Written by Aaron Sorkin of
"West Wing" fame, who apparently based much of the script on Ben Mezrich's book,
The Accidental Billionaires, the film
was vigorously derided as fiction by Zuckerberg and his company spokespeople.
Days before the film's release, Zuckerberg
donated $100 million to help improve public schools in Newark, N.J.
critics claimed the gift was timed to blunt any bad publicity from his
Facebook has grown more than 60 percent in the past year, according to
research firm Hitwise, and now boasts more than 550 million users. U.S. Web
users spent 41.1 million minutes on Facebook in August, according to comScore,
versus 39.8 million minutes on all of Google's various Websites. Facebook's
"Like" button, along with Facebook Connect, have helped extend the Website's
reach beyond its walled garden.
Facebook's rise as the world's premier social network, though, has come with
periodic privacy and security concerns. User
uproar over the company's privacy policies led to calls for a Federal Trade
, which in turn compelled Facebook to introduce
another layer of privacy controls in October. Its Application Settings
dashboard now allows users to view which applications have access to their