If you’re reading this article, you are a user of the Web. Think about how much the Web has changed society and how much it affects your day-to-day life. Given the dramatic impact the Internet has had on our world, it only makes sense that we should be curious about where the Web is going next. To understand this, we need to understand the evolution of the Web: what it used to be like, how it got to where it is today, and the applications of Web 3.0. The evolution of the Web is often separated into three stages: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0.
Web 1.0 is characterized by Web participants as consumers of content the creators were typically developers who built websites that were mostly static pages, served up as text or images. The Internet was set up this way from about 1991 to 2004. Sites didn’t have much interactivity. It was as if the Web was basically read-only.
Web 2.0 refers to the current iteration of the modern web that most of us are experiencing today and is characterized by Web participants as creators of content. It is interactive and social, and you don’t have to be a developer to make content for the web. As companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter began to develop Web-based software to facilitate interactions between Web users, they saw an opportunity to monetize their user bases through advertisements for the sale of personal data. Thus, data collection and targeted advertising have become a core part of the web experience and how it’s engineered to function.
However, frustration towards some of these big tech companies has been mounting in the general public as information has come about the exploitation of the user data they’ve been collecting.
For Web 3.0, you could think of it in terms of participants as owners because the most fundamental difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 is decentralization. In Web 2.0, developers build applications that run on a single server where the data is owned and the app is operated by one central authority. In Web 3.0, applications run on decentralized networks of many peer-to-peer servers and leverage a distributed ledger technology known as the blockchain. Essentially a decentralized database, participants are able to host one of these Peer-to-Peer servers or nodes or create, govern, improve, and otherwise contribute to the network and be rewarded with cryptocurrency tokens, making them owners with a vested interest in the Web who stand to directly benefit from its success.
In Web 2.0, a developer might pay a cloud service provider like Amazon Web Services to host and provide access to their application on the Web. But with Web 3.0, instead of going to Amazon, that money goes directly to network participants. In Web 2.0, companies might pay YouTube or Facebook to show their advertisements in a feed of targeted users. Once again, with Web 3.0, this payment goes directly back to the participants. In other words, imagine earning revenue from the ads you watch online.
Features of Web 3.0
To grasp a better hold over Web 3.0, let’s understand the four features of Web 3.0:
Used for content that is handy through variable applications that can be used anywhere. For example, Web 2.0 is already ubiquitous. A Facebook user can instantly capture an image and share it. It’s become ubiquitous since it’s available to anyone no matter where they are, as long as they have Facebook access. So, Web 3.0 simply takes this a step further by making the Internet accessible to everyone, anywhere, and at any time. At some point, Internet-connected devices will no longer be concentrated on computers and smartphones like Web 2.0. Since the Internet of Things technology will bring plenty of new types of smart devices with Web 3.0 content accessible by multiple applications. Every device is connected to the Web and can be accessed anywhere, so there’s no need for a middleman, and in this case, Facebook is our example.
Semantic Web semantics is the study of the relationship between words. Therefore, the Semantic Web, according to Bernie’s Lee, enables computers to analyze loads of data from the Web, which includes content, transactions, and links between people. So, you may be asking yourself, how exactly would that work? So, let’s take a look at these two examples. I LOVE BITCOIN and I <3 BITCOIN. Their syntax may be different, but their semantics are pretty much the same since semantics only deals with the meaning or emotion of the content. Currently, the Web structure makes it easy for you to visit a webpage and understand what it’s all about. Computers can’t do that. A search engine might be able to scan for keywords, but it cannot understand how those keywords are used in the Page’s context. Applying semantics on the Web would enable machines to decode meaning and emotions by analyzing data. Consequently, Internet users will have a better experience driven by enhanced data connectivity.
AI will play a crucial role in making the Web semantic. In Web 3.0, computers can understand and process information like humans in order to provide faster and more relevant results, and they will become more intelligent to help meet the needs of users. Although Web 2.0 presents similar capabilities, it’s still mostly human-based, which opens up room for corrupt behavior such as biased product reviews and rigged ratings, etc. For example, we all use Amazon, and we all read the reviews before purchasing something. Unfortunately, a company listing a new product on Amazon can simply gather many people and pay them to create positive reviews for its excellent products. Therefore, the Internet needs AI to learn how to distinguish the genuine from the fake in order to provide reliable data.
Spatial Web and 3D graphics
Some futurists also call Web 3.0 the “spatial Web,” as it can virtually take you anywhere, helping you learn about different places and ideas by experiencing them as if you were actually there. Indeed, this vision forms from the basis of the Metaverse, which is a digital universe where people can work, play socialize, and do business just as they would in the real life, but without actually having to travel anywhere. For example, with Web 3.0, you won’t have to travel hundreds of miles to another city to examine a new house. The Web can allow you to search for things visually by pointing your camera lens at them through augmented reality. A good example of this is the Google Lens. You can search for things on Google without having to type a single word. You only have to scan an object with the Google lens, and the Web will do the rest.
Applications of Web 3.0
How can we apply Web 3.0 to the real world? In Web 3.0, applications will run on decentralized networks of numerous peer-to-peer nodes utilizing blockchain technology or combining the two with no central server and a system that encourages equal network ownership. Users need no permission to participate in the network. Web 3.0 is, however, best captured by cryptocurrencies. These digital tokens are one of the best representations of a departure from a central controlling authority, that is, the central bank. Cryptocurrencies will be essential in creating financial incentives for anyone willing to contribute to or improve a project.
So let’s take a look at a few of the Web 3.0 applications. The first one is Steemit, which is a Web 3.0 social network. It’s a social media platform where everyone gets paid for creating and curating content. Steemit is decentralized, with zero entry barriers that allow users and creators to retain ownership over their content and earn a stake in the technology. The platform itself by adding valuable content to it instead of sharing and commenting on content for free via a third party that mines and monetizes your personal data and uses proprietary algorithms to decide who actually sees what you share. Steemit aims to provide a social news service where users get paid to upload, comment, and post with content creators, earning reputation-based rewards.
The next one is Storj, which is a Web 3.0 cloud Storage. The future of cloud storage is decentralization. Imagine being able to rent out your extra hard drive space through an autonomous network and being paid for it in cryptocurrency. Well, thanks to Satoshi Nakamoto in platforms like Storj, this is made possible. Storj is a Web 3.0 application that offers decentralized, secure cloud storage. The fundamental technologies underlying Storj are encryption, filesharing, and hash table on blockchain to organize file storage in a peer-to-peer network. Web 3.0 cloud storage offers superior Privacy with lower vulnerability to hackers and government snoops. Files are stored in small pieces across multiple hard drives so that only the owner has a complete copy.
And the next one is Mask Network. The Mask Network is a portal to the new, open internet. With Mask Network, you can send encrypted posts to your friends, participate in cryptocurrency lucky draws, and share encrypted files on the platforms you are already using.
Lastly, we have Wolfram Alpha, which is a Web 3.0 search engine. Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that answers your questions. Students and professionals from different fields like mathematics, nutrition, science, and others all use it. This platform uses Web 3.0 to gather information from databases across the Web and simplify the information for end-users. Wolfram Alpha answers your questions directly by computation, as opposed to giving you a list of Web pages like search engines.
The Web 3.0 transformation has already started. The new Internet will provide a more personal and customized experience, smarter and more humanlike search assistance, and other decentralized benefits that hopefully will help to establish a more equitable web. So the only question that remains is do you want to be just a user or do you want to be an owner?
The idea of decentralization and web 3.0 is epic. This is literally the first time I’m coming such info. Thanks for being the first to enlighten me.
You’re welcome. We do our best to give you the latest insights on trending technologies. Please share our articles.