KEY POINTS

  • Facebook Platform Partnership Director Konstantinos Papamiltiadis announced the conference was canceled over growing coronavirus fears
  • In place of the conference, there will be a series of "locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content"
  • Mobile World Congress earlier this month canceled its 2020 tech conference event over coronavirus fears

Facebook announced Thursday it was cancelling its upcoming F8 developer conference over concerns of coronavirus exposure.

Facebook’s Platform Partnerships Director Konstantinos Papamiltiadis shared the news in a post on the F8 official website.

“Every year, we look forward to connecting with our global developer community at F8 and sharing our vision for the future that we’re building together,” Papamiltiadis said. “But given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 2020.”

The F8 conference is the largest annual event on Facebook’s calendar and is where the company shows off some of the new updates, features, and products in the works. Last year's conference featured a better look at the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest, new camera features for Instagram, and expanded Facebook Dating into 14 more countries.

Instead of a large conference, Facebook will be hosting a series of “locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content” to share the announcements planned for 2020’s conference.

Papamiltiadis said Facebook will find ways to uphold its commitment to host city San Jose despite canceling the event.

“We remain committed to the city of San Jose, where we’ve hosted F8, and its community. Every year, we donate a portion of F8 ticket sales to an organization working to diversify the tech industry,” Papmiltiadis said. “This year, we’re doubling that donation amount to $500,000 and will prioritize organizations serving local San Jose residents. We also typically host local students onsite at F8. Working with the next generation of developers is one of the highlights of what we do -- and this year, we will still provide an F8-inspired experience for those students in lieu of hosting them at the event itself.”

F8 is the latest tech event to be called off over growing concerns around the coronavirus. The annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was canceled on Feb. 12 as a precautionary move.