On Thursday, Facebook announced that it would be canceling F8, their biggest annual conference, due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. The company wrote on its website that they had to prioritize the health and safety of their developer partners, as well as their employees and everyone else who contributes to putting F8 on.
Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, who is in charge of platform partnerships for Facebook, said that it was difficult for them to make the decision. Instead of holding the one major event, they planned on splitting it up into a variety of smaller events, that could even include live-streaming.
Typically, Facebook uses F8 to talk about its future vision for the company, as well as releasing news on the latest products and features. In the past, Facebook has announced things like Facebook Dating as well as trying out things like hiding likes on Instagram and even redesigning Facebook’s logo for both the website and its mobile app.
This year, the event was scheduled originally to take place in May. This isn’t the first conference that Facebook has decided to cancel. Earlier this month, they decided to cancel a large marketing conference that was going to be in San Francisco due to issues surrounding the virus.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that they expect more virus cases to come up in America. Currently, the number of cases worldwide stands at 82,000, with the majority of cases located in China.
Many other countries have closed stores and offices, including China, and one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, Mobile World Congress, has been called off as well.