Let’s hope all this attention–and now status as TIME‘s Person of the Year–won’t go to Mark Zuckerberg‘s head. He is, after all, a 26-year-old billionaire and the guy who has control over basically every picture you’ve posted online in the last three years.
The announcement was made live this morning on NBC’s TODAY by TIME managing editor Richard Stengel.
When it came right down to it, as Stengel told Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, it was Zuckerberg’s social networking site Facebook (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) that was the deciding factor:
“It’s something that is transforming the way we live our lives every day. It’s social engineering, changing the way we relate to each other.”
Zuckerberg’s also the subject of an Oscar-buzzy film, The Social Network, which portrays the Facebook mogul as a geekily shy CEO. As Stengel put it:
“He’s very affable, he’s in the moment, he’s quick-witted,” Stengel said, but “he has this thing when he gets on camera” and becomes suddenly shy.
Also-rans in the Person of the Year competition were WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, those Chilean miners, and members of the Tea Party.
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