Last updated on 24 March 2022
Simply put, Web 3.0 is an extended web where any user will be able to find answers to their questions faster. Think of it as a much faster and safer Web 2.0. To know more about Web 3.0, It’s probably smarter to first talk about the other versions of the Web.
First off, let’s talk about the Internet in general. You’d probably be correct to say that the Internet is an essential part of modern life. Just imagine life without it. Doesn’t look quite the same, does it? It’s even harder comprehending living without the internet in a world such as ours, where a global pandemic has taken hold of our lives and has forced us to find ingenious web-based ways to do regular things like communicating, educating, and even having fun.
The web hasn’t been static either. As our dependence on the net has grown over the past few years, so has the web. It has adapted to our needs in such remarkable ways that leave the next stage of the net’s evolution obvious to anyone who cares.
Web Differences & Breakdowns
Web 1.0 – Read only, no interactiveness
The History Of Web 1.0
So far, we’ve seen two phases of the internet. The first, which was the Web 1.0, was the first iteration of the net, and largely consisted of un-dynamic websites that were created by very few people. There was no cyber economy, and the internet of this age was little more than a small library with extremely expensive entry fees. The price of getting a computer was high, the utility was low, and most people just didn’t see a need to have one, or have access to the net. There were no search engines, and interacting with the net meant that you had to know precisely what you were doing and where you were going. That didn’t promise a great user experience.
Web 2.0 – Centralised entities and interactive
The Emergence of Web 2.0
By 2000, things had changed. Web 2.0 was already on the market, and the economy around owning a private computer had changed significantly. Everyone had access to one, and this accelerated the changes the web was going through. This iteration of the net, at first, can be roughly described as a single flow of information from the internet publisher to the user. This version of the web gave users a lot of choices and more responsibility in curating their experiences. They could create different accounts across websites, thereby creating an online unique identity.
This accelerated innovation on the net, especially in terms of e-commerce, as publishers now had the ability to publish details on goods available to be sold, and have people buy them. It also meant that any two users, from anywhere in the world, could meet in one marketplace and exchange, as reasonably as possible, goods and services.
And finally, it meant that any user from anywhere in the world could publish content, and have thousands or even millions of people read, see, or hear this content. This led to the creation of blogs, and Wikipedia. We cannot forget, of course, Web 2.0 efforts at facilitating the rise of social media sites. The first site on this scene was MySpace. The site showed people the potential of a world connected by the internet, and Facebook came soon after to grow that potential into a trillion dollars company. And after Facebook came a slew of other social media sites.
Web 3.0 – Decentralisation and the user owns their content
Web 3.0 History
This golden age lasted for roughly ten years, and by 2010, it was clear that Web 2.0 had to evolve into something even better if it was going to meet the needs of everyone. Web 3.0, also known as the decentralized web, is the clear answer to these new needs.
Web 3.0, in its simplest form, is a decentralized version of the web that supports the latest generations of internet apps, and is hosted on the blockchain. Of course the blockchain is just one of many distributed ledger techs that the web could be hosted on. While this may sound like a foreign concept, it’s really not. In fact, the inventor of the World Wide Web, which most of Web 2.0 is based on, predicted Web 3.0 and argued that it would be more autonomous, smarter and easier to use than previous versions.
Web 3.0 will mainly focus on ways to connect data in a decentralised manner, instead of the centralised systems we run today. This decentralisation of connected data means that computers will be able to operate more intelligently than before in interpreting data, and people will be able to connect more seamlessly to it. That’s why AI will be a huge part of Web 3.0, since the regular computers that we have now are simply not intelligent enough to do what needs to be done.
Ultimately, Web 3.0 promises to be a decentralised net hosted on ledger technologies and powered by powerful AI technologies that will make our lives easier, and our integration with data even smoother and safer.
What’s new for Web 3.0?
If Web 2.0 has finally succeeded in bringing together ideas and identified uses, then Web 3.0 has done something absolutely different. The tech race of the past 15 years has produced tremendous innovations, both online and within our software and hardware. However, this raises a new problem: these uses are all linked to the Internet, but not always to the Web.
The Semantic Web
The Semantic Web involves using global and open standards defined by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Thanks to these standards, the online content respects a format that facilitates their reuse in other contexts. The tools that manipulate the data can combine them to give them meaning. Thus, the use of metadata makes it possible to contextualize a medium and therefore allows semantic processing of information.
If this definition seems obscure to you, here is a simple example. Let’s start with the following sentence, which you might read on a web page: “Maurice Ravel was born in Ciboure.”
This sentence will appear that way on the page you are viewing. However, in the page’s code, “Maurice Ravel” and “Ciboure” will contain additional code to indicate that it is a name in the first case and a place in the second. This code will refer to standards established by the W3C so that a place and a name are known entities and managed in the same way by all the developers around the world.
Why do such a thing?
Take the case of a search engine. You want to get information about fishing. So you type this word into your search engine, which may offer you results for fruit, activity, and even, by extension, sin in the biblical sense of the term.
Making sense of information on the Web makes it much easier to index information and obtain relevant search results. This is just one of many real-life examples of what the Semantic Web can do.
Blockchain, a base of Web 3.0
Blockchain is a term may be familiar to you if you are into cryptocurrency. It is a technology for storing and transmitting information without a control organ. Technically, the system is a database whose information is regularly checked and grouped in the form of tamper-proof blocks.
This technology is close to the Web since it connects users through their transactions in a decentralized database. The analogy ends here since the systems are technically different.
Read more about how a blockchain works here.
We have also written an extensive guide on the top Crypto Blockchains here if you are interested.
Internet of things and other uses
As the uses are numerous, it would not be easy to list them all. However, we can also bring up the case of the Internet of Things with watches, scales, cars, and other objects connected to the Internet but which do not necessarily display web pages. Below is a non-exhaustive list of related topics:
- Geographic information systems
- Social networks
- Project management tools
- XForms forms
- artificial intelligence
- cognitive architecture
- composite application
- knowledge representation
- internet of things
- ambient intelligence
10 characteristics that will allow you to identify Web 3.0
This new version of the Internet is closely linked to the concept of ‘Semantic Web,’ which, in general terms, seeks to introduce a series of languages and procedures that can interpret certain user characteristics to offer a more personalized interface.
What does this newly evolved form of the network offer us?
- Smart searches
- The evolution of social networks
- Connectivity across more devices
- Free content
- Three-dimensional spaces
- Geospatial Web
- Ease of navigation
- Cloud computing
- Data linking
Web 3.0 is a term used much more to talk about the future of the Internet than the concrete technical innovations of recent years. When many research sectors offer innovative applications related to the Web and the Internet, trying to group them all under one banner seems impossible.
If you want to watch more on web 3.0, please check these videos below: