Facebook has announced that it has canceled its annual F8 developer conference over coronavirus concerns. It was due to take place on May 5 and May 6, 2020. The social network says that it will instead replace the event with “locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content.”

Facebook isn’t the first company to cancel an event of this stature, with Mobile World Congress canceled amid similar concerns. It was due to take place in Barcelona recently. The upcoming GDC event has also seen multiple companies pull out, including Facebook.

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. But given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 2020.

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.

Coronavirus initially started life in China but has steadily begun to spread to all corners of the planet as people continue to travel. The cancellation of events like F8 is an attempt to try and limit the potential for continued spreading of the virus, although it remains to be seen how effective such a move will be.

Facebook will instead hold other local events, it says.

In place of the in-person F8 event, we’re planning other ways for our community to get together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content. We’ll share additional details on our plans for F8 in the coming weeks. Sign up here to have updates emailed to you directly. In the meantime, thanks for your patience and understanding — and we look forward to seeing our global community of developers at F8 2021!

Now all eyes are on Apple’s WWDC 2020 event, due to take place in June.

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