The Icelandic singer Bjork and Mexican-American comic Louis CK also were honored for their innovations in the digital realm by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the online equivalent of the Oscars.
Facebook was named the winner of the first People's Special Achievement for Social Change, topping Twitter, YouTube, Kiva, and Change.org for the award for using the Internet for social and political development.
Academy judges including Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Arianna Huffington and mobile phone inventor Martin Cooper selected Webby Award winners while Internet voters around the world chose the People's Voice Awards with nearly 1.5 million votes cast from over 200 countries.
The Webby for best news site went to The Daily Beast while the BBC won the People's Voice award in the category. FactCheck.org won for best political website while the satirical news site The Onion took the Webby for best humor site.
Pinterest, the fast-growing bulletin board social network, won the Webby for social media and Google+ won the People's Voice Webby in the category.
The winners, listed on http://wbby.co/winner, will be honored at a ceremony at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on May 21.
"This year's winners represent an amazing cross-section of the new and continuing trends we've seen across the Internet this year," said David-Michel Davies, executive director of the Webby Awards.
Agency of the Year honors, highlighting the agency that wins the most overall Webby Awards went to BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), the London-based creative firm which won nine awards.
Bjork got the Webby Artist of the Year award for her "Biophilia" album, which was dubbed the world's first "app album."
Louis CK was named Webby Person of the Year for the digital-only release of his comedy special "Louis C.K. - Live at the Beach Theater."
Juliette Lewis and Graydon Sheppard will be honored as Best Actresses for their original YouTube series "Sh*t Girls Say."
Instagram, the photo-sharing startup that was bought by Facebook for $1 billion, was honored as the Webby Breakout of the Year, following on the heels of sites like Twitter, which won in 2009, and Flickr in 2005.
The Best Blog award for a business went to Mashable, a social media news site, while cloud storage site Dropbox won a best practices Webby and People's Voice award for top Web services and applications.