Facebook annual developers event adapts to 'changed world'

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Facebook said its once grand annual gathering of software developers will be a one-day, online event this June.

Facebook on Tuesday said its once grand annual gathering of software developers will be a one-day, online event this June, potentially lacking an appearance by top executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg has long been a star attraction at F8 gatherings, opening the events with keynote presentations to discuss the tech giant's creations, goals, and vision.

Facebook told AFP that it remained to be determined whether Zuckerberg would even take part in the event this year.

The real-world F8 that typically attracted thousands of software savants to the heart of Silicon Valley was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, replaced with localized, streamed presentations.

The gathering in the past spanned two days, providing opportunities for outside makers of apps or services to attend sessions or seminars with Facebook engineers to better synch software with the tech giant's platform.

"F8 has always brought together an incredible community of people who are building, innovating, and looking for what's next," Facebook apps vice president of platform partnerships Konstantinos Papamiltiadis said in a post.

"We want to bring F8 back to its roots: a place to celebrate, inspire and help developers grow."

The reformatted event is called F8 Refresh, and will stream live worldwide on June 2, according to Papamiltiadis, who invited developers to register.

He described the change as recognition of businesses adapting to a pandemic changed world.

The streamed event will feature technical sessions, demonstrations, and panels aimed at helping developers build products for Facebook's "family" of apps, according to Papamiltiadis.