Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook Inc., was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" today for "creating a new system of exchanging information" and "changing how we all live our lives."
Zuckerberg, 26, began the world's largest social-networking site in 2004. The service, with more than 500 million users, has helped people connect with each other and changed definitions of privacy, Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel said in a letter on the magazine's website.
Zuckerberg created Facebook for college students when he was a sophomore at Harvard University. Eventually opening the site up to users outside of higher education, the company surpassed News Corp.'s MySpace as the world's biggest social network two years ago, BusinessWeek reports.
TIME Managing Editor Richard Stengel said Zuckerberg stands out for accomplishing something that's never been done before: "Connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them."
"Facebook is now the third-largest country on earth, and probably holds more information than any government about its citizens. Zuckerberg, a Harvard dropout, is its T-shirt-wearing head-of-state," Stengel added.
The company, which started as an exclusive Harvard website in 2004, is now one of the most lucrative firms on the Wall Street, estimated to be valued over $50 billion currently, International Business Times informs.