The announcement will come as a shock to many who were expecting wikileaks founder Julian Assange to take the title.
The magazine awards the title to whoever ‘for better or worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year.’
Earlier in the week it had been reported that Assange was the readers’ choice to win the 2010 poll. Although the overall title is chosen by the magazine’s editors the readers’ poll usually heavily influences their decision.
Instead, Assange was awarded a place as a runner-up along with The Tea Party, The Chilean Miners and Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
Time managing editor Richard Stengal made the announcement live on the TODAY show, saying: “[Facebook] is transforming the way we live our lives day every day. It’s social engineering, changing the way we relate to each other.”
Zuckerberg is the second-youngest person ever to win the title after 1927’s Charles Lindbergh, who was 25.
Time magazine’s comments board was awash with angry Assange supporters moments after the decision was announced.
The wikileaks founder was yesterday granted bail for alleged sex crimes committed in Swindon but remains in custody at Wandsworth Prison.