Mark Zuckerberg Named TIME Person of the Year

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was named TIME Person of the Year on Wednesday.

TIME managing editor Rick Stengel made the announcement on NBC's "Today Show."

The magazine's editors annually name an individual or group of people who have had the most influence on the year's news to be Person of the Year.

Zuckerberg, 26, is the US creator of the Facebook social networking website, which has an estimated 500 million users worldwide.

He was the subject of this year's blockbuster movie "The Social Network," which received six Golden Globe nominations Tuesday.

He is also a notable philanthropist, pledging to give away millions of dollars to charity recently.

TIME's editors decided against following the online readers' poll for who should be Person of the Year; in that poll, Zuckerberg beat out controversial WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, who had won the reader's choice with over 380,000 votes. Zuckerberg also beat out Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who received 233,639 votes in the online poll.

Lady Gaga came in third among readers, who voted 1,249,425 times, TIME magazine announced. Zuckerberg was tenth in the reader's choice.

Last year's Person of the Year was U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. US President Barack Obama was the recipient in 2008.