Web2 vs. Web3
While Web2 caters to the current internet generation, Web3 is known as the semantic web. Let’s examine these concepts, how they differ, and which one will reign supreme in the coming decade.
The Internet has progressed rapidly from the early days of Web1, which included static texts and visuals, to the current version – Web2. We are presently entering the Web3 era, in which value and data will easily move across decentralized platforms with distributed ownership and control. But, what else does Web3 feature? How is it different from Web2? Read on to learn more about these two concepts, their differences and possible applications.
Web3 is currently picking up steam in the online space. Its rising popularity is proportionate to that of blockchain and the security technology’s broad acceptance and adoption. Now that we know Web3 will become the norm sooner or later, it’s time to look at the previous generations, their distinctions, and more.
As the technology is still new, learning about the concept may help users grasp it better.
Alexandra Pitkevich, principal for business consulting, EPAM Systems, succinctly defines the two internet iterations. “Web 2.0 brought the advent of social media, kicking off the age of user-generated content. Previous iterations were united by data being stored on servers owned by massive corporations and institutions. Even if the user was the original creator of the data, they weren’t ultimately the true owner.”
While Web 3.0 hasn’t fully taken shape, it will have significant implications for how business gets conducted as it is – unlike in the past – decentralized and not controlled by governments and corporations. With Web 3.0, centralized companies no longer own or retain the data, as it gets privately managed.
– Alexandra Pitkevich, principal, business consulting, EPAM Systems
Let’s learn more about the internet’s progress – from the fundamental web to a semantic world, the differences between Web2 and Web3, and other topics that perplex even the most tech-savvy.
The Web Evolution
Web 1 (1990-2005)
The first version of the internet, also known as Web 1.0, was designed specifically for corporations rather than individuals. Just a few folks understood how to gain proficiency. Most significant firms engaged computer professionals to manage the internet and execute its use to benefit their staff. It’s worth noting that the users were charged based on the number of pages they visited. Some of the examples of Web 1 are MySpace, Google, LiveJournal, and Yahoo.
In a nutshell, Web 1.0 was a content delivery network (CDN) that allowed users to see static data on websites without having the chance to express their thoughts, opinions, or remarks. It also ushered in the dot-com boom, which ran from 1995 to 2000 and fueled a slew of web firms.
Now we should move on to the next generation of the internet, which is currently in use worldwide. Web 2.0 has revolutionized the web and its allied industries. This web version has made it exceedingly simple for users to collect, generate, and distribute huge amounts of data with just one click. Hundreds of new apps are introduced to the phone’s app store every day. Also, phones have a built-in camera that produces images that most genuine cameras on the Web 1 could not even imagine a few years ago.
The best feature of Web 2.0 is that it allows users to create content and distribute it on global networks. Social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook and other video streaming applications, blog posting, podcasts, and social bookmarking are all examples of Web 2.0 platforms. This period is also known for the ease with which music and video snippets are shared.
Web3 (fast approaching)
Web 3.0 is the internet’s latest and most talked-about generation. Following 2.0, the third iteration, based on sophisticated software programs such as artificial intelligence, will enter the arena of combatants. It aspires to provide a trustworthy and data-driven UI that caters to every user. Blockchains, metaverse, and Semantic Web are all expected to be leveraged through Web3.
Most of the capabilities of Web3 are already present in Web 2.0, so users will probably be puzzled. What’s new in it, then?
Yes, these features are already present in the contemporary internet generation and more are rapidly getting ingrained, but there’s more to it. Because of the rising adoption of blockchain technology across various apps and sites, the 3.0 version is getting more evolved. The main distinction between Web 2 and Web 3 is that Web 3.0 is built on decentralization. Users will own their content and have complete control over using the internet. As we progress through the article, we will discover more about differences.
Frequently Asked Questions About Web2 & Web3
What is the difference between Web2 & Web3?
Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are similar technologies with similar backgrounds, but they approach challenges differently. The fundamental distinction is that Web 2.0 focuses on reading and writing content, whereas Web 3.0 focuses on creating content (Semantic Web). The latter is much better, utilizing technology to facilitate information interchange amongst web users while simultaneously enhancing cybersecurity.
While Web2 aims to connect people, Web3 combines this data in meaning along with increasing trust. This happens because of decentralization. More differences are listed below:
Payments on Web 2 are made in fiat money. Government-issued money, such as the US dollar, is used during transactions. Web3, on the other hand, uses cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Bitcoin, which are encrypted digital currencies to fund transactions.
- Content ownership
With Web 2.0, the network assumes control for information storage, causing access issues and concerns about the anonymity and protection of online data. Web 3.0 solves this problem by letting data be exchanged in several locations simultaneously.
Web 2 transfers are quicker than Web 3 transfers. Web 2 scans for information kept in a fixed place, generally on a single server, using HTTP in unique web addresses. Web3, on the other hand, assigns ownership to numerous others (decentralization).
Web2 includes podcasts, social bookmarking, blogs, RSS feeds, and video sites. Web3 incorporates AI and machine learning-powered dApps, virtual worlds, and 3D portals.
What are the benefits of Web3?
The decentralized structure of Web3 is its primary advantage or value for users. Centralized networks will not be rewarded in the next generation of the internet. A democratic atmosphere where spending is more transparent thanks to public distributed ledgers will be fair and trustworthy. Corporate corruption will gradually decrease as a result of this. It is fair to say that Web3 has the potential to improve corporate and government operations. However, due to the scale of the shift, it will almost certainly invite criticism.
While decentralization is one of the biggest benefits that Web3 could offer, the other ones include:
- More privacy
Web 3.0 will prioritize security and privacy over surveillance and control. Users will have complete control over their data. They have the option of sharing or keeping the information secret.
Due to blockchain technology and its autonomous structure, it will also be safer than prior internet versions. Hackers will find it exceedingly tough to exploit the network, and even if they do, their activities will be logged. In a decentralized system, hacks are still plausible, although most blockchains have developed defenses against such an occurrence.
Multiple apps may access data, each device is linked to the web, and services can be accessed anywhere.
- Semantic Web
The Semantic Web is the next phase in the evolution of the internet. Semantic Web enhances the whole experience of web-based platforms. Users may utilize semantic technologies to create online data repositories, define vocabularies, and establish data handling rules. The technologies used to enable linked data are – RDF, OWL, SKOS, and SPARQL.
Data is intimately associated with Web 3.0 due to semantic content, leading to an improved user experience that goes to a new level of connectivity that harnesses all accessible data.
Misconception about Web3
A significant misconception that Pitkevich highlights is – metaverse and Web 3.0 are the same. In reality, metaverse is just users interacting with the presentation/interactive layer, whereas Web 3.0 is the entire architecture with every level decentralized.
Web 3.0 will bring about complete upheaval in the way businesses and consumers interact with each other online, making the customer experience more personalized. Users can collectively contribute to product creation, being fairly paid for their contributions as co-investors and creators with no central authority authorizing these payments
– Alexandra Pitkevich, principal, business consulting, EPAM Systems
Is Web3 the next reality of the internet?
Excitement and questions have been raised about the decentralized internet, with its inherent lack of oversight and control for safety and legality. “Some are dubious if it will be as free as people think. The internet was built on server ownership; since then, data has become stored on some server or a cluster of servers in the cloud, often owned by companies managing data on behalf of users. Web 3.0 will break this paradigm, moving away from one server to many different, decentralized servers,” states Pitkevich.
He concludes, “As Berners-Lee envisioned, Web 3.0 will create a universal space ungoverned by a central authority. It will revolutionize how businesses interact with their customers, allowing companies to access the end-users directly. New channels and infrastructure will need to be built for potential revenue streams, especially curated content, products and experiences.”