A Year in the Life of Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook's founder didn't quite win Newsmaker of the Year, but he still had quite a year.


Mark Zuckerberg had a very exciting 2007. True, he didn't win Paper Trail's Newsmaker of the Year award (second place to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't bad), but between legal troubles galore and a new BFF named Bill Gates, he sure kept busy. For your reading pleasure, the Zucky 2007 timeline:

Facebook has 14 million users.
March 9
Responding to legal battles that have raged since 2004, Zuckerberg and Facebook countersue archnemesis ConnectU in a continuing legal battle over who developed the original idea for Facebook. This particular suit says that ConnectU illegally collected users' E-mail addresses from Facebook to spam them.
March 28
The court dismisses ConnectU's original lawsuit without prejudice, allowing ConnectU to immediately file a new lawsuit against Zuckerberg and other Facebook founders as well as the company itself. The end is near?
April 11
Zuckerberg announces a redesign of Facebook. Unlike last time, no revolt necessary. 19 million users.
May 24
Facebook opens itself up to outside developers, paving the way for independently produced applications such as the cracklike Scrabulous. Is this the triple word score of social networking or the beginning of the MySpace-y end? 24 million users.
October 24
Microsoft spends $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. Zuckerberg is officially worth $3 billion. Almost 50 million users.
02138, a magazine targeted at Harvard alumni, prints an article about the Facebook vs. ConnectU lawsuit. The magazine also publishes related materials on its website—including Zuckerberg's diary and his application to Harvard.
November 6
With much fanfare, Zuckerberg announces new user-targeted advertising and the new Beacon program, showing all your "friends" the most recent items you bought online. There is no opt-out option to this feature.
November 20
With user complaints about Beacon mounting (" Facebook Ruined Christmas!"), MoveOn.org launches a petition on Facebook in protest.
November 29
Under pressure, Facebook changes Beacon to opt-in. A week later, Zuckerberg admits fault (gasp) and posts an apology about the Beacon program on the Facebook blog.
November 30
Federal judge rules that 02138 magazine does not have to remove the Zuckerberg documents from its website. Victory for free speech!
December 11
Merriam-Webster names Facebook its No. 2 Word of the Year for 2007. First the dictionary, then the rest of the world.