Facebook cancels F8 developer conference over coronavirus scare
Are other major tech conferences in danger of being cancelled?By Shawn Knight
What just happened? Facebook has canceled its second appearance at a developer-focused conference in as many weeks due to concerns over COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus.
The social networking giant on Thursday said it was canceling the in-person component of its upcoming F8 developer conference. The mostly-annual conference for devs and entrepreneurs was originally scheduled for May 5-6, 2020, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, director of developer platforms & programs at Facebook, said they explored ways to keep the in-person component intact but noted that it didn't feel right to have F8 without international developers in attendance.
It's not a total wash, however. Papamiltiadis said that in lieu of donating a portion of ticket sales to groups that work to diversify the tech industry, Facebook will be upping its donation amount to $500,000 and will prioritize organizations that serve local residents.
The company also has a history of letting local students attend the event. This year, Papamiltiadis said, they'll still provide an F8-inspired experience for those students.
"In place of the in-person F8 event, we're planning other ways for our community to get together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content," Papamiltiadis added.
The coronavirus has already forced the cancellation of Mobile World Congress and prompted several major attendees including Sony, Facebook, Microsoft and Epic to pull out of the upcoming Game Developers Conference.
Additional details regarding Facebook's plans for F8 will be shared in the coming weeks, we're told.
Masthead credit: James Martin, CNET. Cancellation by chase4concept.