Facebook Cancels Its F8 Conference Over Coronavirus Concerns

facebook f8 conference cancel coronavirus
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Facebook has canceled its annual F8 software developer conference due to coronavirus concerns. The conference was scheduled to take place on May 5th and May 6th, 2020 in San Jose, California.

Facebook is canceling only the "in-person component" of F8 2020, though. The company still plans to connect with developers through “locally hosted events, videos, and live-streamed content". Last year's F8 conference was attended by around 5,000 people from across the world.

"F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook, but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on," said Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs, in a blog post. "We’ll share additional details on our plans for F8 in the coming weeks."

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Although the F8 conference has been canceled, Facebook says it remains committed to the city of San Jose.

The company has been donating a portion of F8 ticket sales to an organization working to make the tech industry more diverse and it'll do so this year as well. In fact, Facebook is doubling that donation amount to $500,000 and is prioritizing local organizations.

Facebook also used to host local students at F8, where they could interact with the next generation of developers. This year, the social media giant will be providing them with an "F8-inspired experience" instead.

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This is the second conference that Facebook has canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this month,  the company canceled its global marketing conference. The summit was set to take place on March 9 in San Francisco, with over 4,000 attendees expected.

More companies may cancel their respective events

The coronavirus outbreak in China has had a broad impact on the tech industry globally. Mobile World Congress (MWC) was canceled earlier this month due to concerns over the virus.

Several companies, including Electronic Arts, Unity, Sony, Facebook, Epic Games, and Microsoft, meanwhile, have pulled out of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020. The event itself is still scheduled to take place on March 16 in San Francisco.

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Google and Microsoft are also scheduled to host their respective annual developer conferences in May. While neither of the companies has yet made any public announcement regarding the coronavirus outbreak, they've released statements to TechCrunch saying they are monitoring the situation.

"We’ll continue to monitor developments around coronavirus and follow the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO, and other relevant entities," Google said in the statement.

Microsoft also reiterated the tone saying "the safety of our employees is a top priority and we will evaluate the situation and adjust plans as necessary.”

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