One notable keyword in the blockchain space is ‘Web 3.0.’ With a little time spent surfing this space you’re sure to come across it. This is because the framework of this new internet iteration is based on the blockchain technology, hence the close ties. But even after its repeated occurrence, many are still unaware of what Web 3.0 is, the problems with the current Web 2.0. and how the new Web aims to solve these problems. To answer these questions, in this article we explored the evolution of the web and highlighted key characteristics and differences of both web 2.0 and 3.0.
Evolution of the Web
The internet we’ve all come to know, and love has taken a path similar to that of the butterfly; from the crawling caterpillar to the beautiful flying insect. The days of Web 1.0 spanning from the 90’s to the early 2000’s meant users surfing the web were limited to static texts and images, this restricted web usage and had only emails as the only form of communication. The mid 2000’s saw the era of Web 2.0, which brought the infamous pop-ups, cookies that track and learn users, dynamic ads on webpages and for the first time, end-users could contribute media to the web. This is the current version of the internet, but its downside, privacy appears to be one of the major reasons we’re seeing a shift to a new web, Web 3.0. which promises a decentralized internet experience, without a central authority accessing your private data.
What is Web 2.0?
The Web 2.0/3.0 comparison is only possible with a sufficient understanding of the current Web 2.0. The second generation of the web, Web 2.0 was fueled by a host of digital innovations, to mention a few; mobile internet connectivity, smart phones like the iPhone and Blackberry, tools such as Java and CSS. Ease of access with mobile phones meant more users on the internet, this spurred innovations such as Instant Messaging (IM) and chat functions. Tools like Java and CSS additionally contributed to better webpage design and layout, especially the dynamic ads we see today.
Features of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 possesses some distinctive features which has given it sizable reign. Here are some of these traits.
- Web 2.0 allows users to read-and-write over the web instead of read-only as seen in web 1.0.
- Optimum user interaction unlike before.
- Improved file sharing and permalinks
- Web 2.0 ushered in the era of interactive web where users could create and share responsive content.
Limitations of Web 2.0
Although Web 2.0 brought a lot of positives to our web experience, it also has its downsides. Let’s look at a few.
- Unverified Information. With easy access, users share information regardless of authenticity, misleading people and possibly causing harm.
- Privacy. Personal data is easily obtained by websites or skilled persons. This can be harmful if data falls into the wrong hands.
- Identity theft. Personal information like photos or place of residence can be obtained easily and be used to cause harm.
- Online Fraud. Ecommerce has made the exchange of goods easier but its popularity has similarly increased the number of fraudulent activities in the web space.
- Copyright issues. The web is replete with intellectual property in the form of articles, videos, music etc. The unauthorized copy of these properties is a growing issue.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is the new iteration of the World Wide Web, in the simplest sense, it is an upgrade which incorporates the key facets of crypto, which are the blockchain technology and decentralization. With the incessant issues of privacy, the Web 3.0 promises of a more democratic web where control of personal data stays in the hands of users instead of a central authority. In a decentralized web space, privacy, transparency and ownership will have a strong presence, this can be seen with Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) where full ownership is reserved with the creator.
Features of Web 3.0
- Decentralization. Using peer-to-peer connections, users maintain ownership over data and digital assets instead of a central authority or third-party.
- Improved Privacy. Using the blockchain technology, authorization and access to user data is better secured.
- 3D Graphics and VR integration. For better user experience, the new Web 3.0 has integrated the use of 3D and VR to create a friendly and highly interactive environment.
- Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning. With the help of AI and Machine Learning, Web 3.0 will process information at a faster and accurate rate, helping users source for information better and constantly improve the Web space.
- Ubiquity. Unlike web 2.0 which can only be accessed using computers and smartphones, the Web 3.0 allows connectivity with IoT devices.
The web 3.0 has exciting prospects which could greatly improve user experience, these include 3D features, full ownership of data and easier access. Some of these features could attract users with bad intents; this is a key drawback of the web 3.0. On the other hand, the Web 2.0 also has its flaws such as lack of privacy and copyright issues. Assessing both disadvantages, it seems the choice is between security and privacy. However, the choice still remains in the hands of the web users on whether to adopt the new Web 3.0 or restrict surfing to Web 2.0.