Facebook is cancelling its annual developer conference, F8, due to concerns over coronavirus. The company today announced that it is cancelling the “in-person” component of F8, which usually takes place in San Jose.
Facebook isn’t the only company cancelling conferences due to coronavirus — GSMA was essentially forced to cancel MWC 2020 earlier this month after companies started pulling out of the conference due to concerns over coronavirus.
“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,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Facebook noted that the company usually donates a portion of F8 ticket sales to an organization working on diversifying the tech industry, and this year it will be donating $500,000 and prioritize organizations serving the San Jose residents.
“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,” the company later added.
Facebook plans to host local events and live-streamed content in place of the actual F8 2020 conference. The move is certainly not surprising, and it will be interesting to see what other companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google will do with their own developer conferences as they are usually scheduled for the May/June timeframe.