Among the contenders for the title were the Chilean miners who were all safely rescued after being stuck in a mine for 33 days and Lady Gaga, who has been one of the top pop culture figures this year for her music as much as her outlandish attire. Another top contender was WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The miners came in No. 5, according to Time magazine.
Time magazine editor Rick Stengel announced Zuckerberg's selection the "Today" show Wednesday morning. "More than half a billion people on the planet live in a world created by Mark Zuckerberg, " Stengel said.
"The good news is, their friends all live there, too. Zuckerberg founded the social networking site Facebook in his college dorm six years ago, but 2010 was the year Facebook reached critical mass, both in sheer quantity of users and in its presence all over the Web."
Stengel said that Zuckerberg said he was "humbled" when he heard about the honor.
Zuckerberg joins former presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton and Obama, who were all chosen by the magazine for the distinction during their terms in office, for the magazine's honor.
Lady Gaga was a favorite with the readers, Stengel said, although she didn't make the magazine's list of the Top 5.