Facebook cancels F8 developer conference amid coronavirus fears

Facebook announced that its annual developer conference, F8, will be canceled due to concerns surrounding the spread of coronavirus, officially known as Covid-19. The event is usually held in late April or early May.

The announcement was made in a blog post, in which Facebook said it would plan other ways to announce new products and services, through local events, livestreams, and videos. The company says that it will share more details about its new plans for F8 in the coming weeks.

“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 Director of Platform Partnerships Konstantinos Papamiltiadis said in the blog post. “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.”

Facebook F8
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the 2019 F8 Facebook Developers conference. Facebook

This isn’t the first tech event to be canceled surrounding coronavirus fears. After a few weeks of companies pulling out of Mobile World Congress 2020, the GSMA, which is the organization that runs the event, finally canceled it altogether.

The outbreak has had an impact on other sectors of the tech industry, too. Apple announced that it wouldn’t meet its quarterly forecasts due to the fact that it was forced to temporarily halt iPhone production, and because demand for Apple products in China slowed amid the outbreak. Microsoft recently made a similar announcement, noting that coronavirus has had an impact on its global supply chain. Other companies, including Tesla and Nvidia have also made announcements related to the impact of the coronavirus on the supply chain.

The latest coronavirus outbreak has steadily grown since December 2019. At the time of this writing, over 80,000 people had been infected by coronavirus, with over 2,800 deaths. The World Health Organization has also started warning countries to assume that it will get more cases, and to prepare as such.

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