Facebook has just cancelled its annual developer conference, where entrepreneurs fly in from around the world to work directly with the social network.
According to Facebook, “given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 2020.”
Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Director of Developer Platforms and Programs for Facebook, further explains:
This was a tough call to make — F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate all of you from around the world — but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on. We explored other ways to keep the in-person part of F8, but it’s important to us to host an inclusive event and it didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance.
Last year, Facebook F8 saw over 5,000 developers attend the event in San Jose, California, in May.
Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has affected other major tech events. Recently, Mobile World Congress in Spain was cancelled, while Facebook, Sony and Microsoft have pulled out of the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, set for March 16.
Facebook says it will use a “combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content,” to replace an in-person F8 event and says they will re-launch the event in 2021.
With Facebook making the call to axe its annual gathering of worldwide developers and San Francisco declaring a state of emergency over coronavirus, will Apple cancel its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), also held in the city?