With almost all major tech companies pushing for the metaverse and the promising future of the internet, you have likely encountered the term “Web 3.0” already. What exactly is Web 3.0? How is it different from the two iterations of the past? What does it have in store for us down the line? Read on as we comprehensively detail Web 3.0 – the next step in the evolution of the internet as we know it.
The previous eras of the internet and how they sparked the formulation of the Web 3.0
To explain Web 3.0, we must first lay down its history and understand the two previous eras before it – how they impacted the internet we have today and how they would ultimately shape its future.
The first generation of the World Wide Web (WWW), or the internet, Web 1.0, started in the early 1990s. It was commonly referred to as the Static Web due to its now-primitive features. While it enables information exchange faster than anything before, it was still far from facilitating any modifications, direct interactions, and answering complex questions, which many may now consider basic in today’s day and age. Basically, the Web 1.0 era was built on a collection of static online pages that offered only limited information. Nonetheless, tech personalities at that time revered Web 1.0 for the revolutionary capability it had, and what do we know, it served as the foundation for arguably the greatest tech invention in history.
The things that Web 1.0 lacked, particularly user interactions and content modifications, the Web 2.0 of the early 2000s addressed. Whereas Web 1.0 is the Static Web, Web 2.0 is best identified as the read-write Web and is the current internet era we know enjoy every day. People are no longer restricted from just reading information from the static pages of the previous internet era; they may now write back and promptly interact with other people from across the world. This paved the way for almost all of the major websites we know today and everyone’s modern companion – social media.
Although Web 2.0 brought people closer more than ever, the elevated rate of digital interactions also meant that digital data generation gets pushed to its all-time high. And because centralized platforms are responsible for said interactions, major corporations such as Twitter, Google, and Facebook gained extensive access to user data. This free data access quickly became one-upmanship for said corporations to develop a network effect in a thriving advertising space dependent on user data. This essentially means that these platforms use your history and browsing habits to tailor suit advertisements and recommendations to which they would then plaster in your screens without you knowing. While some may think that it is cool to see the things you like seemingly chase you and much easier to find, most find this practice an intrusion of privacy.
This particular issue sparked the conceptualization of a more democratic and decentralized internet – where users can freely surf the Web without the fear of corporations siphoning their respective data for their benefit. Disrupting such a large-scale technological standard is widely recognized as a tall order, but many are now seemingly ready to face the challenge head-on. This leads to where we are now, with many striving to be the major player that renders the decentralized Web, the Web 3.0, to fruition.
What is Web 3.0?
The future of the internet, the now-seemingly inevitable third generation of the WWW, the Web 3.0, is touted by many as a far smarter, open, and decentralized iteration of the internet. It basically intends to bolster the interconnectivity we now have with Web 2.0 while preserving confidentiality and the power of users for their own data.
According to the latest reports, blockchain would be the foundation for Web 3.0 and would strive to combine several smart systems with today’s level of Internet of Things, or IoT. Whereas the previous two iterations of the internet facilitated mainly the exchange of information among users, Web 3.0 intends to become something more physical as it would involve billions of actuators and devices connected with all sorts of things. It aims to enable interaction and coordination among machines themselves.
However, to pull this off, Web 3.0 must also be much smarter than Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. While the first generation was dumb but served as the building block for something truly revolutionary, and the second being its more dynamic and expanded version, the third will integrate artificial intelligence and cognitive computing – basically giving life to the things around us. Considering this, Web 3.0 is shaping up to be the most personalized, adaptive, and, obviously, an advanced version of the internet to date.
The immense promise and life-altering capability surrounding Web 3.0 concepts drove several developers from across the world wild conceptualizing the blockchain framework and suitable applications for the upcoming evolution of the internet. With this feverish support towards Web 3.0, it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore if it arrived sooner rather than later.
Advantages of Web 3.0
While many would believe that the internet we now have is good as it is, others argue that revamping it has now become essential, especially with the data monopoly of giant enterprises that has now become prevalent nowadays. With that being said, let us take a look at the advantages that Web 3.0 has in store for us:
- It is decentralized and would prioritize confidentiality
As briefly mentioned above, confidentiality has been a major aspect of the internet that many now strive to preserve. Thankfully, Web 3.0 does just that – and perhaps much more. In the third generation of the internet, there would be no central point of control. It would be decentralized and thus, gives back users full control over their personal data. Users will now be the ones completely responsible for their own data. Furthermore, due to the incorporation of blockchain technology and decentralization concepts, the order in which data is monetized and ultimately used will change as well.
- Tailored internet experience for each user
Because Web 3.0 incorporates semantics and much smarter machine learning technologies, the internet experience would be unique for each user. Everything would seem tailor-made just for you, making your internet browsing sessions more efficient, pleasant, and worthwhile. Web 3.0 aims to revamp advertising tactics for the better, enabling users to find the ads for the items or services they need without exerting much effort.
- Greater degree of interconnectivity and information availability
The trend of enabling more efficient information gathering and greater connectivity with each internet generation would not stop with Web 3.0. Much like how the Web 2.0 with the Web 1.0, the 3.0 intends to build upon the already-impressive interconnectivity and information availability of the internet we have today. As impressive as it is to see seemingly all the answers you may be looking for freely available on the internet nowadays, its future iteration aims to be even much better.
Now that decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, blockchain-powered browsers and domains, and Web 3.0 wallets have hit the mainstream, the internet we know of today is undoubtedly on the precipice of its next step of evolution. Although the highly touted aspects available with Web 3.0 are still well-within its early stages, the buzz it has generated for the past few years would definitely expedite its highly-anticipated implementation. The reign of major corporations and centralized information collection is now at its tipping point – the control over data will now be back to where it rightfully belongs, to the users. Buckle up as the transition between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 is coming fast.