Facebook cancels annual F8 conference over Coronavirus fears


Facebook has cancelled its F8 developer conference due to fears around the spread of the coronavirus.

The event, which is the social media giant’s biggest of the year, was due to take place in San Jose on May 5 and 6. More than 5,000 developers and entrepreneurs attended the conference last year.

However, Facebook’s director of developer platforms Konstantinos Papamiltiadis said that the “difficult decision” had to be made.

“This was a tough call to make – F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it’s one of our favourite 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,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

Mr Papamiltiadis said the company was planning other ways for people to interact through hosted events and streamed content.

The news follows on from the high-profile cancellation of Mobile World Conference, which was due to take place in Barcelona earlier in the month. Concerns about the rapid spread of the deadly virus ultimately led to the cancellation of the world’s biggest mobile phone show.