Social media giant Facebook has canceled this year’s F8 Developer Conference over concerns about the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Facebook F8 Developer Conference is a mostly-annual conference held by the social media major, intended for developers and entrepreneurs who build products and services around the website. It was hosted in San Francisco, California until 2016, and moved to a more central Silicon Valley location in San Jose, California in 2017
For this year, F8 was scheduled to take place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center on May 5 and 6, with more than 5,000 developers, creators, and entrepreneurs from around the world expected to attend.
Konstantinos Papamiltiadis (pictured), Facebook’s Director of Developer Platforms and Programs, said canceling the event was “a tough call to make” considering that F8 is “an incredibly important event for Facebook”.
“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,” Papamiltiadis said.
The decision followed the recent cancellation of the Mobile World Congress, the giant mobile phone conference held in Barcelona, which was scheduled to happen last week.
Facebook, along with Sony and Microsoft, has also pulled out of the upcoming Game Developers Conference. Concerns about the virus have grown so great that the IOC is weighing if it might need to cancel the Tokyo Olympics.
“Celebrating our global developer community at F8 each year is incredibly important to us at Facebook, but we won’t sacrifice the health and safety of our community to do so,” said Papamiltiadis.
There may still be video presentations, along with live-streamed and local events for its developer community to get together.
“Out of concerns around COVID-19, we’re canceling the in-person component of F8, but we look forward to connecting with our developer partners through local events, video, and live-streamed content,” said Papamiltiadis.