Looks like Facebook will be throwing another big "F8" developer conference in the spring, after taking 2009 off. According to a sparse post on the company's developer blog, the event will be held April 21 and 22 in San Francisco. No more details are currently available.
"F8 has always been about empowering a community of developers to hack, to build and to delight users," the post reads. "We're looking forward to continuing this tradition at our third F8 in San Francisco on April 21-22, 2010. Please save the date!"
This is a big deal because Facebook's past two F8 conferences have marked the debut of some of its biggest products: in 2007, the groundbreaking Facebook developer platform, and in 2008, Facebook Connect. It's likely that the 2010 version will involve some kind of high-profile launch, too.
What could it be? The obvious possibility is Facebook's long-rumored payment platform or virtual currency system, which currently only powers the internal "gift shop" feature along with a few test developer apps and nonprofit partners. This is more or less Facebook's worst-kept secret: it's been in development for quite some time, but appears to have been repeatedly modified internally. Once said to be a straight-up PayPal competitor called "Facebook Wallet," the project has evolved to fall more in line with the meteoric rise in virtual goods-based social gaming, one of the biggest and most profitable runaway hits on Facebook's platform. It could also mean that Facebook starts to make some serious money from transaction fees and become a real power player in the e-commerce space.
Still, we don't know for sure. We'll keep you updated as more details become available about F8 2010 over the coming months.
This post was updated at 11:42 a.m. PST with a link to the post on Facebook's developer blog.