23 March 2020
Facebook’s biggest F8 event that was scheduled to happen on May 5th and 6th, has officially been canceled due to growing concerns around the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Facebook has announced the cancelation and other important related stuff via an official blog post. This is the second biggest event of the year getting canceled due to the deadliest disease, the first was MWC that was meant to happen in February in Barcelona.
Facebook holds the Developer Conference F8 every year where it connects with the worldwide developers. This year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s not possible for Facebook to conduct this event, “it didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance.”
In a blog post, Facebook’s platform partnerships director, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, wrote,
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. 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 also announced that every year, it donates a portion of F8 tickets sales to an organization working to diversify the tech industry and this year, it is doubling the donation amount to $500,000. Facebook also hosts local students onsite at F8 and this year as well, the students will get an F8-inspired experience.
Last year’s F8 event held in April where Facebook made some important announcements. At the keynote, Facebook unveiled a massive redesign of its both desktop and mobile apps. Like always, there were a couple of announcements around privacy. A new feature called the Secret Crushes was also added that tells you if that friend you’ve been crushing has an interest in you. The feature was, however, rolled out in the US and the UK only. Facebook Messenger also received a dedicated desktop app for both Windows and macOS.
Facebook further announced that it is planning other ways to conduct its event and it may come together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos, and live-streamed content. You can sign up to receive F8 2020 important updates.