Web 2 vs Web 3
Updated: Aug 10
Over the last 30 years, the internet has undergone several changes, evolving and becoming more complex and adding many new functionalities. However, what we consider the wide web wasn’t always the way it is, and it went through several changes over the years to become what it is today.
When it first launched in the 90s, the internet, or Web1.0, was made up of static HTML pages that could only display information that provided limited functionalities, as users couldn’t interact with the data nor upload their own. However, the 1990s and 2000s saw a significant shift in the web browser, as a more interactive internet started taking shape, becoming the Web2.
With Web2, users could now interact between websites through databases, server-side processing, forms, and social media, making the experience much more dynamic than the previous limited static one. In addition, this new version of the internet focused much more on user-generated content and interoperability between different sites and applications, paving the way for many companies to create applications, digital services, and social media.
While looking back, the transition from 1.0 to 2.0 is now much more precise. However, the transition to 3.0 is still not entirely defined. The current applications and features developed on Web3 leverage peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies, such as open-source software, blockchain, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT), to make the internet more decentralized and open.
Web2 and Web3
Web 2.0 was genuinely revolutionary and allowed for the creation of so many applications that we consider essential for our daily life, growing from a platform where you could interact with content to allowing for the growth of the content focusing on usability and interoperability.
Among the notable features, it allowed users to access the internet from any device, starting with computers and phones until reaching TVs and other home appliances. In addition, it allowed for the content to be dynamic while offering high responsiveness and allowing users to classify and retrieve information that was made public. However, although these features were advanced, they still have many downsides, leaving room for improvement.
The Web3 aims to improve on the previous generation, focusing on security and privacy while benefiting from a decentralized network, allowing users to pass data, verify ownership and decide how the data will be shared. Furthermore, it aims to bring users enhanced and improved graphics and 3D visuals and interoperability with artificial intelligence, providing a faster pace environment and access to real-time insights. Furthermore, it takes advantage of Semantic Web functionality, support for understanding words and their meaning for machines, allowing them to analyze, share, and find information on the wide web.
Web 3.0 Features
As Web3 is still in its early stages, it’s still taking shape and is yet to be fully defined. However, some core concepts are already defined and categorized under four central aspects:
3D visualization and interactive presentation - the looks are changing immensely, moving towards a 3D environment that incorporates augmented and virtual reality. This area is often referred to as the Metaverse, an area currently being developed for 3D video games and a 3D work environment. This aims to improve the UI and UX, making the experience immersive and more intuitive.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies - leverage data ownership, online economics, and a decentralized environment to unlock the ability to put information on chain, create a digital identity, and tokenize assets without the need of a centralized entity, and therefore a point of failure.
Semantic markup - the ability of AI machine learning to understand over time the content and data created by humans, not only understanding in absolute terms but being able to understand in context and in different scenarios that might change the meaning of certain words.
Artificial intelligence - is crucial in turning human-made content into a format that machines can understand. Currently, an example of this is customer service chatbots. Still, with time artificial intelligence AI will learn how to improve itself, adding additional functionalities and reducing the work needed by humans for its further development.
What makes Web 3.0 unique
What makes Web3 unique and superior to its predecessors is some of its key features, that is all dependent on how well the underlying technology will evolve:
No central point of control - with no intermediaries, data can’t be controlled by a central authority, reducing the risk of censorship by governments or corporations, and reducing the effectiveness of Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks.
More efficient browsing - improved searching, finding semantically-relevant results based on search context and metadata, based on a user's search preferences from previous years.
Improved advertising and marketing - the ads are more relevant to people by being tailored around their preferences, feeling less annoying and intrusive. This is done by leveraging AI systems and targeting specific audiences based on consumer data.
Increased information interconnectivity - with more products connected to the internet and larger datasets, new algorithms are developed to analyze it. These can help deliver data specifically for needs in a more accurate manner.