Facebook Cancels F8 Conference, Cites Coronavirus

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, Facebook has decided to cancel its annual F8 developer conference.

“Given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 2020,” Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, director of developer platforms and programs, writes in a new blog post.

This was not a decision that Facebook made lightly, according to Papamiltiadis. On the contrary, he described F8 as an “incredibly important event.”

However, “we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who help put F8 on,” Papamiltiadis said.

From cancelled events to supply-chain issues, the impact of the coronavirus continues to ripple throughout the technology industry.

Earlier this week, reports suggested the coronavirus is interrupting the development of Apple’s next iPhones.

Specifically, travel restrictions are apparently preventing Apple’s engineers from going to China to oversee production of the company’s hardware. Yet, during Apple’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook was apparently unwilling to address the issue head on.

Along with many other business sectors, the ad industry is feeling the effects of COVID-19. Along with WPP, shares of Omnicom, Interpublic, Publicis Groupe and MDC Partners are all trading down.

As for Facebook, the company isn’t giving up on this year’s developer conference entirely.

“We’re planning other ways for our community to get together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content,” according Papamiltiadis.

Facebook is expected to share additional details on its modified plans for F8 in the coming weeks.

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