Facebook has canceled the upcoming in-person portions of F8, its annual developer conference. The event is the latest to be canceled due to the growing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The conference was supposed to take place on May 5 and 6 this year.
The official statement by the company reads “In light of the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 this year, in order to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on. We plan to replace the in-person F8 event with locally hosted events, videos, and live-streamed content”.
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Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs, further went on to state that Facebook needs to “prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on”.
The director also that the company even explored other options that would help take the conference forward. However, the decision was dropped because Facebook “didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance”.
The coronavirus has already caused a lot of damage to the worldwide technology community. This includes both official events and launches as well as production. The F8 is not the first event to fall prey to the virus outbreak. The Mobile World Congress (MWC 2020) was supposed to take place from February 24 to 27 in Barcelona, Spain. However, after many companies decided to pull out due to the outbreak scare, GSMA ultimately decided to drop the annual event.
Coronavirus global update
The coronavirus outbreak has taken over 2,800 lives so far and infected over 80,000 people. The virus was recently spread to Europe after a number of people in Milan were tested positive. Meanwhile, the number of new cases in origin country China is slowly starting to decrease. The northeastern province of Liaoning recently lowered the coronavirus emergency response level. It was lowered from the highest Level 1 to a Level 3.