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Facebook’s F8 developer conference will return on June 2nd in low-key virtual format

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg won’t be giving the keynote

The F8 conference in 2021 is dubbed “Refresh.”
Image: Facebook

Facebook’s F8 developer conference is returning this year as a one-day virtual event on June 2nd. Like so many big gatherings, last year’s F8 was canceled over concerns regarding coronavirus. But the world’s largest social network evidently wants to keep its sizable community of developers engaged and is bringing the conference back in 2021.

In a blog post, Facebook’s VP of platform partnerships, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, said the new format, dubbed F8 Refresh, would return the event “to its roots: a place to celebrate, inspire and help developers grow.” He added: “Our virtual stage will be open to developers across the world and live streamed on our Facebook for Developers page on June 2nd.” Interested developers can sign up here to be notified when registration opens.

One big difference to previous years is that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg won’t be giving the keynote, a spokesperson for the company told The Verge. Instead, Papamiltiadis will deliver the opening presentation, which TechCrunch says is expected to “provide some updates on new launches for the platform” including new product tools for Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and WhatsApp. Zuckerberg may, though, speak in other capacities.

Without Zuckerberg leading the show we can probably expect fewer big consumer-facing announcements, as we’ve seen in previous years. Facebook still has a lot to talk about, though, and potential topics could range from ongoing challenges like platform moderation to the company’s big bets in augmented reality and virtual reality. From the hints Facebook is dropping, though, it seems F8 Refresh will be a low-key affair.

Correction, March 23rd, 12:31PM ET: The story previously stated that “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg won’t be speaking.” Facebook has said he may speak elsewhere at the conference, but will not give the keynote speech. We regret the error.