Tim Berners- Lee, in 1989, referred to www as web 1.0; it was a web version where users could view the information on web pages but could not contribute. The web version was limited, a non-rosy one that presented information in a linear format – akin to a book.
Users could not flip pages to consume desired content – they were stuck to anything the web brought forth. Additionally, commenting on content was also impossible. Therefore, this could not be the promised land of the web – hundreds or thousands of developers thought the same, marking the revolution of web 2.0.
Web 2.0 was an upgraded web version with user-generated content, a database to store information, server-side scripting languages, and the explosive growth of social media. It was not an event but a gradual process that started in the 1990s as developers learned new skills and algorithms that empowered people to surf the net to find the right content they wanted.
The possibilities didn’t end there – anyone can create content in different formats. But, limitations abound. Who owns data on web 2.0 platforms; what happens to the data if users are restricted on the platforms? Is it possible for users to own and control who accesses their data? These are the queries for web 2.0 that web3 is ready to solve.
Understanding the web versions
The evolution of the web started with a read-only internet where users were consumers rather than creators. The web version has no algorithm – full of static and hard codes, making it difficult for users to choose the content to see or not. On the other hand, web 2.0 is our current version, providing additional benefits to web 1.0 as consumers can create content.
Additionally, it is more dynamic and interactive – the era where social media reigns. However, tech giants and big brands like Meta, Twitter, and Apple control the platforms and users’ data. This is because, in the web2 economy, the users’ personal and behavioral data are extremely valuable to them.
Meanwhile, the next phase of the internet is web3 is the internet of value where users, in addition to creating content, control and own their data.
Web3 empowers internet users instead of platform owners or tech giants. This next phase of the internet is deployed on blockchain technology to create a sense of ownership. This will make the internet an egalitarian society by reducing the reliance on platform owners and companies.
Additionally, web3 powers a new evolution of the web where transactions, information sharing, and personal data are encrypted cryptographically and processed on a distributed network. For instance, reliance on banks to confirm transactions will be reduced as transactions will be conducted via blockchains.
Therefore, third-party and middlemen interfering in data exchange will be eliminated, making transactions to be trustless and permissionless.
The differences between the web versions
Web 1.0 was the earliest version of the internet with static web pages. Although users can access the content anywhere and at any time, the communication is unidirectional. Unlike web 1.0, web 2.0 is the second phase where users provide content rather. Moreover, any internet user can create applications and websites with underlying services. Hence, it powers the boom of tech giants like Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, and others.
Web2 and web3 are different in developmental shifts; web 2.0 focuses primarily on user-generated content, especially on social media. It is a web version with human collaboration and system development and delivery. However, web3 is decentralized, and the major shift is democratizing data ownership away from tech giants’ grip. Instead of exchanging data for free services on platforms like Facebook, web3 allows users to own their data and participate in the governance process.
The core ideas of web3
There is no one-fit-all definition of web3 as of now, but these are the core ideas based on the blockchain technology on which it is built.
- Permission-less internet: This new phase of the internet is ready to onboard everyone and promotes inclusiveness.
- Decentralization: unlike web 1.0 and web 2.0 operating via centralized control, web3 democratizes ownership among the users and builders.
- Borderless payment statement: web3 will use borderless cryptocurrency for payment. Unlike the current international payment methods that are restricted to some geographical location, cryptocurrency penetrates the nook and crannies of the world and banks the unbanked.
The importance of web3
The current platforms running on web 2.0 require users to create accounts before they access their sites, allowing owners to collect personal data. Web3 allows users to easily identify their wallet address and limit the information given out on different platforms.
Internet of value – Payment method
Transaction across web3 platforms will be aided through cryptocurrencies, allowing users to transact values directly without third parties. Therefore, you can conduct transactions using the same platform without switching to a bank app – a native payment method.
This could probably be the biggest win in web3 as it offers control over your assets on the app. For instance, if a user is banned from Twitter or Facebook, he loses all the content and followers on the platform. Additionally, he risks losing all if he has monetary assets on the platform. However, web3 allows users to import their assets to other platforms without risking anything. You can delete your account on one platform and move your assets, like in-game assets and followers, to another platform.
Web3 allows users to censor and monitor their data because it is built on immutable and transparent blockchain technology. As a user, you can decide to remove your data from a blockchain platform to another that suits you. Additionally, you can control the information you share and earn tokens for the data you are permitted to share.
Why web3 for brands and business owners
According to Gartner, 25% of consumers will spend sixty minutes or more daily engaging in the metaverse for education, social shopping, or entertainment purposes by 2026. Therefore, web3 and metaverse are decentralized protocols begging brands to harness the opportunities. As it stands, some eCommerce stores are accepting cryptocurrencies for payment. In the near future, web3 will gain more credibility through other use cases.
Increase in Ad revenues
Through virtual reality, web3 makes social experiences better as users can walk around virtual stores during online shopping and try on different clothes to choose the best fit. Users can also attend virtual conferences and concerts through personalized avatars. Thus, VR creates a more immersive experience, which companies can leverage to generate more revenue. Additionally, it is an exciting opportunity for brands to repurpose their advertisement and generate more revenues through different ad formats. VR ads will be short and immersive for prospects, so responsiveness and decision-making are faster.
Membership, community, and subscription services
Through non-fungible tokens, web3 can redefine what community means for members holding the brand NFTs. NFTs can serve as membership tickets, vouchers, bonuses on item purchases, digital twins of physical products, and others. Also, NFTs help in subscription services whereby any members with exclusive NFTs can access the service, like in a cable subscription.
Web3 makes business more accountable and blocks loops of wastage as every transaction can be tracked and verified. Additionally, it makes the supply chain more transparent, allowing customers to trust your process.
The decentralized nature of blockchain makes web3 more secure than web 2.0 from cyber-attack. One of the major threats to web 2.0 is distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, where tremendous information volume or pings are sent to a single server to take it down. However, blockchain has no single point of attack, making it difficult for hackers to target. Therefore, web3 allows business owners to conduct transactions and services without any security threat.
The benefits of web3 make it a better version of the web that empowers users, controls information on the internet, and democratizes data sharing. Web3 compensates users for their engagement on platforms and their time spent on the internet.
We work for visionary clients that with our advising and consulting service will not only create innovative and disruptive digital products but help them imagine new realities. Our key areas include web3 and blockchain, development studio, digital business strategies, gamification, and business model innovations.
Don’t lose this opportunity to surf this new wave and all his potential. Contact us to explore your business on web3
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