Meta cancels annual developer conference to focus on metaverse

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Event was cancelled in 2020 and moved to digital-only format last year due to Covid-19 pandemic

Facebook parent company Meta cancelled its annual developer conference (F8) for this year as the company pivots its focus on the metaverse.

This is the third consecutive year when the California-based company has made changes to its annual event. It was cancelled in 2020 and moved to a digital-only format last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The metaverse is a digital space that allows users to communicate and move virtually in their three-dimensional avatars or digital representations.

“We gear up on new initiatives that are all tailored towards the next chapter of the internet … the next chapter of our company too — building the metaverse,” Diego Moreira, director for developer and start-ups programmes at Facebook, said in a blog post.

Meta’s developer conference is a chance for international developers to interact with the company’s engineers and learn about new products and technology.

To accelerate its research on the metaverse, Meta launched a $50 million fund last September.

Hailed as a successor to the internet, the metaverse is a set of immersive spaces shared by users, in which they can interact, innovate and engage with other people who are not in the same physical space.

In January, Meta also unveiled a new supercomputer capable of building foundational technology to boost research in the field of metaverse.

“Similar to the early stages of the web, building the metaverse will be a collaborative effort at every stage — with other companies, creators and developers,” Mr Moreira said.

Meta previously said it might take 10 to 15 years to fully realise the metaverse products and that its success depends on building robust interoperability across services to ensure different companies’ experiences can work together.

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