On Thursday, Facebook announced the decision to cancel F8, an annual conference and one of the company’s biggest event of the year aimed at developers and entrepreneurs because of the increasing concerns over the new Coronavirus.
Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook's director of developer platforms and programs, said in a blog post on F8’s website: “But given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 2020. 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.”
The conference was initially scheduled to take place in San Jose, California, on May 5 and 6. Last year, it was attended by more than 5,000 creators, entrepreneurs, and developers from all over the world.
Therefore, Facebook said that “it didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance.”
F8 is not the first conference that Facebook decided to cancel amid the coronavirus outbreak – earlier, the tech giant canceled the Global Marketing Summit in San Francisco and refused to participate in Mobile World Congress, the largest annual trade show.
Even though the “in-person” event will not be held, the social networking service still plans to have smaller local events: “We’re planning other ways for our community to get together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content.”
Furthermore, the company is determined to donate $500,000 (which is two times more than usual) to organizations that work to diversify the tech industry.