An tech company is only as strong as the developers who make apps for their services. That's why Google, Apple and the rest court developers every year with a big show that touches upon the latest in developing for iOS, Android and the like. Facebook has joined in with this tradition over the past few years with their F8 conference. Unfortunately, it will be MIA this year.
Facebook told reporters yesterday that their seemingly annual F8 conference would not be happening this year. The reason being that Facebook hasn't shipped a major new product this year. In fact, the company is still pushing Open Graph, which was introduced at last year's F8 conference.
For their part, Facebook is still pushing development on the Facebook platform, but in other ways. A conference doesn't let Zuckerberg and crew get intimate with developers. That may be why the company vouched for putting more emphasis on World Hack 2012 with more locations around the world. In fact, the Facebook crew is hosting a Hackathon in Barcelona today.
Facebook will hold other F8 conferences in the future. The developers who love gathering together and talking about the latest movements in the Facebook scene need not worry. It's just that Facebook needs something on par or greater than Open Graph to make such an extravagant event worth the cost. The company does have to answer to investors now, and a conference without any major announcements could only hurt their market growth.
As for now, Facebook is going to keep focusing on mobile growth. They have the desktop development market squared away, but the mobile market is still an untamed frontier ripe for the taking. Facebook may be the big name in town, but a small start up could easily usurp them. The next F8 conference will undoubtedly address this potential problem.[h/t: All Things D]