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Video: Time’s Person of the Year revealed

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    >> and we're back now at 7:42 to reveal "time" magazine's person of the year. the criteria, someone who for better or worse has done the most to influence events of the year. first one more look at the finalists. these are the faces that defined a year, a giant in the world of technology. a leader in a country ravaged by war. a movement that upended our political landscape. a courageous view that captured our hearts. an innovator changing the way we communicate, one friend at a time. and an online outlaw exposing the secrets of the world. but only one can be time's person of the year. rick stengel, good morning, welcome back. we went over on monday how you folks choose the finalists. take me through the process of choosing the winner? is it one person, one vote? or do you have the final say.

    >> i have the final say. i talked to past persons of the year, i talked to time 100 honor honorees and we talk to all of our editors and we get in a room and we hash it out.

    >> "time" magazine's person of the year for 2010 is mark zuckerberg , the founder of facebook , the ceo of facebook , something that is transforming the way we live our lives every day.

    >> why this year? facebook 's been around for a while.

    >> this year they passed 500 million users. i mean it's an extraordinary number. the scale of facebook now is something that's transforming our lives.

    >> one in ten people on the planet.

    >> one in ten people on the planet and that's excluding china where one in five people live. it's not just social technology, it's social engineering . it's changing the way we relate to people. i think it's affecting human nature in a way we have never seen before.

    >> there's a lot of controversy surrounding mark, in the movie "the social network " is depicted as this genius who turned on his friends.

    >> you know, he's very aft ee's after fastball. he has this thing where when he goes on camera, he pulls back and he gets shy.

    >> what was his reaction to being named person of the year.

    >> he felt humbled by it. he felt honored by it. he's only the second youngest person of the year. i think he was deeply affected by it. but he's not a guy who jumped up and down and said look at me.

    >> your readers actually didn't think this should go to him. didn't they feel that as sang --

    >> assange won our pole by a great margin. but of course lady gaga was number two. but we talk all of that into account. and obviously assange is someone who was influencing the world a great deal this year.

    >> mark zuckerberg gave $100 million and has just pledged to give away the bulk of his wealth over his life.

    >> he's just at the beginning of his career, in a way, matt.

    >> behind zuckerburg, the tea party . number four president of afghanistan, hamid karzai . number five the chilean miners.

    >> you have to pick up the magazine, because we have photographs of every chilean miner. it's over like 20 pages, it's fantastic.

    >> richard stengel , congrats. "time" magazine person of year is issued h issue hits newsstand this

Image: Time Person of the Year magazine cover featuring Mark Zuckerberg
Time magazine
"Most applications are going to become social, and most industries are going to be rethought," Mark Zuckerberg told Time magazine.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 12/15/2010 8:03:03 AM ET 2010-12-15T13:03:03

Meet the second-youngest individual ever to be named Time magazine’s Person of the Year: Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of the omnipresent social-networking site Facebook.

“It’s something that is transforming the way we live our lives every day,” Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel said as he announced the magazine’s 2010 selection live on TODAY Wednesday. “It’s social engineering, changing the way we relate to each other.”

If you regularly use a computer and interact even minimally with Facebook, you may feel as though you already know the 26-year-old Zuckerberg. And maybe you’ve seen the acclaimed movie “The Social Network,” which portrays Zuckerberg as socially stunted, calculating and arrogant. But Stengel told TODAY’s Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira that there’s more to the multibillionaire CEO.

“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.

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Stengel said Zuckerberg stands out for accomplishing something that’s never been done before: connecting millions of people and mapping the social relations among them.

“This year they passed 500 million users — one in 10 people on the planet,” Stengel said.

“He’s our second-youngest Person of the Year,” Stengel added; only Charles Lindbergh, named the magazine’s very first Man of the Year back in 1927 when he was 25, was younger. “He’s deeply affected by it.”

Images: Time Persons of the Year 1999-2010 (on this page)

In his in-depth profile of Facebook’s co-founder, Time’s Lev Grossman writes that “Zuckerberg is a warm presence, not a cold one. He has a quick smile and doesn’t shy away from eye contact. He thinks fast and talks fast, but he wants you to keep up. He exudes not anger or social anxiety but a weird calm. When you talk to his co-workers, they’re so adamant in their avowals of affection for him and their insistence that you not misconstrue his oddness that you get the impression it’s not just because they want to keep their jobs. People really like him.”

What about Chilean miners? Tea Party?
The decision to name Zuckerberg Person of the Year followed weeks of debate and discussion among Time editors and staff members. Here are others Time considered:

Looking back

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The magazine’s No. 2 runner-up after Zuckerberg was the Tea Party, a loose affiliation of American citizens united by their dislike of big government.

No. 3: Julian Assange, whose WikiLeaks organization has shared reams of sensitive diplomatic cables with the world. Referring to a poll of Time readers as to who should have been chosen, Stengel told Lauer and Vieira: “Assange won our poll by a great margin — but of course, Lady Gaga was No. 2. We take all that into account.”

No. 4: Hamid Karzai, the elected leader of the volatile nation of Afghanistan.

No. 5: The Chilean miners, who were trapped half a mile underground for more than two months. Stengel told Lauer and Vieira that “we have photographs of every Chilean miner” in their issue.

Visit Time.com | View an interactive map of previous winners

Another contender was Steve Jobs, the Apple Inc. co-founder and chief executive who in 2010 launched the iPad, which quickly became the gadget of the year. Apple also surpassed Microsoft as the most highly valued technology company this year.

Thousands of TODAY viewers voted on their picks for Person of the Year and made decidedly different decisions.

Viewers’ top choice was the Chilean miners, who garnered 44 percent of the vote; the second pick was the Tea Party, which got 20 percent. Of viewers who participated, 19 percent voted for Zuckerberg.

TODAY viewers wanted Chilean miners to win Time title

In the end, Time’s decision rested on Zuckerberg’s — and Facebook’s — incredible reach over human beings “on a species-wide scale.”

The numbers are staggering: Nearly one out of every 10 people on the planet uses Facebook, and the site handles 1.7 billion interactions a minute. Almost 1 million new people sign up for Facebook every single day.

Stengel said Zuckerberg is “creating a new system of exchanging information that has become both indispensable and sometimes a little frightening” — and it’s changing our lives “in ways that are innovative and even optimistic.”

Zuckerberg is the magazine’s second-youngest choice, after Lindbergh; the third-youngest was Queen Elizabeth back in 1952.

Age-wise, Zuckerberg beat out Britain’s queen by two weeks; she also was 26 when the magazine profiled her. Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth just joined Facebook last month .

Zuckerberg in his own words
In a series of interviews, Zuckerberg spoke at length with Time about his life, his upbringing and his company.

“I think the next five years are going to be about building out this social platform,” he told the magazine.

“It’s about the idea that most applications are going to become social, and most industries are going to be rethought in a way where social design and doing things with your friends is at the core of how these things work,” he added.

Zuckerberg has big plans to expand the social model, not just on the Web, but everywhere: In your car, on your TV, on your mobile device. Everywhere you look, you’ll be able to see your friends’ recommendations and preferences.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, spoke with Time about a future where technologies are built around people.

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“It’s a shift from the wisdom of crowds to the wisdom of friends,” Sandberg said. “It doesn’t matter if a hundred thousand people like X. If the three people closest to you like Y, you want to see Y.”

As for his portrayal in “The Social Network,” Zuckerberg took it in stride.

“I found it funny what details they focused on getting right. I think I owned every single T-shirt that they had me wearing,” he told Time. “But the biggest thing that thematically they missed is ... the actual motivation for what we’re doing, which is, we think it’s an awesome thing to do.”

The Dec. 27 Person of the Year issue of Time goes on sale on Friday. It's available now at Time.com.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Photos: Time Persons of the Year 1999-2013

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  1. 2013: Pope Francis

    A look at the Time magazine Person of the Year covers from the past decade reveals an eclectic mix: choices have ranged from presidents to whistleblowers, even "You." This year Pope Francis took the title.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. 2012: Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama was TIME magazine’s iconic Person of the Year in 2012. “He’s basically the beneficiary and the author of a kind of a New America, a new demographic," TIME managing editor Rick Stengel said.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 2011: The Protester

    Symbolizing a worldwide wave of dissent that swept from the Arab Spring to Athens, the Occupy Wall Street movement to anti-autocracy demonstrators in the streets of Moscow, The Protester summarized a year of turmoil.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. 2010: Mark Zuckerberg

    More than half a billion people on the planet live in a world created by Mark Zuckerberg. The good news is, their friends all live there too. Zuckerberg founded the social networking site Facebook in his college dorm in 2004, but 2010 was the year that Facebook reached critical mass, both in sheer quantity of users and in its presence all over the web.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. 2009: Ben Bernanke

    After weathering one of the worst financial storms in U.S. history, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, won 2009's title because of his influence on the world's most important economy.

    “He was the great scholar of the Depression who saw another depression coming, and did everything he could to stop it,” said Time's managing editor, Richard Stengel.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. 2008: Barack Obama

    A look at Time magazine's Person of the Year covers over the past decade reveals an eclectic mix reflecting the temper of the times: Choices have ranged from presidents to whistleblowers to "You."

    In 2008, Time's editors chose the man who had just won a historic election: Barack Obama.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 2007: Vladimir Putin

    In 2007, Time editors chose "the man who tamed Russia," President Vladimir Putin. The issue included an interview with Putin about corruption, religion and the war in Iraq.
    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. 2006: "You"

    Time's 2006 Person of the Year was one of its most controversial choices: "You." The computer-screen cover was meant to stress the increasing importance of the World Wide Web and its users, "citizens of the new digital democracy."

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. 2005: Bill Gates, Bono, Melinda Gates

    Three faces made it onto the 2005 Persons of the Year cover: Good Samaritans Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates were cited for their global efforts "to end poverty, disease and indifference."

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. 2004: George W. Bush

    In 2004, American voters returned George W. Bush to the White House for a second term. Time magazine acknowledged the event by returning Bush to Person of the Year status, which he had previously attained in 2000.

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  11. 2003: The American Soldier

    2003 was the year the U.S. invaded Iraq, and that December, Saddam Hussein was captured. Those events were key in Time's decision to honor the American soldier as the Person of the Year.

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  12. 2002: The Whistleblowers

    In a year when corporate scandals dominated the headlines, three women made it to the Persons of the Year cover: Cynthia Cooper, who exposed phony bookkeeping at WorldCom; Coleen Rowley, whose office tried to call the FBI's attention to Zacarias Moussaoui, lated indicted as a Sept. 11 co-conspirator; and Sherron Watkins, who warned of improper accounting at Enron.

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  13. 2001: Rudy Giuliani

    As the mayor of New York City during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack that changed America forever, Rudy Guiliani stood tall as an inspirational leader. Time called him “America’s homeland security boss” and a “gutsy decision-maker.”

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. 2000: George W. Bush

    The election that made “pregnant chads” and “recount” part of Americans’ household conversations ended bitterly, with George W. Bush winning the presidency without the popular vote. With his promise to unite the country as the 43rd president, Bush also won the title of Time's Person of the Year.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. 1999: Jeff Bezos

    It’s easy to forget that there was life before online shopping. At the end of the millennium, it was Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, who ushered in the future of retail. Time selected him Person of the Year in 1999, and at 35, he was the fourth-youngest to ever receive the honor.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
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Timeline: Facebook timeline

Discuss: Whom do you think should have been named TIME's Person of the Year?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg beat out Assange, Karzai, Jobs, Chilean miners, Tea Party

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