Facebook Canceling Large Events Through June 2021

Mark Zuckerberg outlined a slower return to normal for the company

Facebook's decision to stay at home longer and shut down big gatherings for more than a year could be the start of a trend.

Facebook at Work and Your Productivity - Facebook (Boston)
Facebook at Work and Your Productivity - Facebook (Boston). (c) Courtesy of Facebook

Facebook was one of the first to cancel its tech event (F8) for the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it's slowing its return to business as usual, canceling large events with 50 or more people through June 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a post.

The big news: Facebook canceling large gatherings for more than a year puts a bullseye on next year's F8 Facebook Developer's conference. Unless Facebook reschedules it for the summer, it won't happen again in the late winter/early spring time-frame, unless Facebook holds it as a digital event.

Because it can: Zuckerberg explained that his company is in a better position to support long-term working from home than many others and will continue asking Facebook employees to work from home through the end of May. This comes as White House officials and state Governors are actively talking about when they can reopen their states and economies, some as soon as May 1.

Number of Employees: 44,942

Number of Users: 2.89 billion 

Founded in: 2004

Offices: Approximately 80

Why: Zuckerberg wrote that the company would like to focus on helping the local community and economy (Facebook is based in Menlo Park, California) return to normal.

Not everyone: While Facebook is leaving the door open for some employees to work at home through the summer, especially if they won't have childcare, there are some employees, particularly Facebook content reviewers and hardware engineers, who cannot work remotely and may return to Facebook's offices sooner.

Bottom line: Regardless of the timetables Federal and State officials set for reopening their states and economies, private tech businesses may make a different choice. Facebook's' public announcement about when it will next hold mass gatherings could have a ripple effect on the entire tech industry. Could, for example, CES 2021, which attracts tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas, go on as planned in early January 2021? We're left with more questions than answers.

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