Web 3.0 is the next generation of the World Wide Web.
Although the Web has made many advances over the years, many users remain concerned about the limits placed on them by its current structure. For this reason, among others, a growing number of people believe Web 3.0 offers superior experiences.
Here's everything you should know about Web 3.0.
The Web as We Know It
Between 1991 and the early 2000s, most users of The Web were passive consumers of content. Web pages were static and read-only, which meant that users of the internet experienced limitations in interacting online.
In the earlier days of the internet, content was consumed from static websites hosted by ISPs (internet service providers) or sites like GeoCities. Information was being exchanged at significantly faster rates than ever before, but interactivity was low.
As advancements in server technology took place in 1999, internet connection speeds increased, making the transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 quicker.
Fast-forward to the dawn of Web 2.0 in the early 2000s, and interactivity spiked with more users being given the power to create content. Social media sites like MySpace and Facebook encouraged interactivity as people generated different forms of content. The Web 2.0 era has been defined, in large part, by three things: mobile, social, and cloud.
What Is Web 3.0?
Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, describes Web 3.0 as “read-write-execute.” It is a version of the Web that gives users the power to create and execute their own tools and software, rather than depending on other people for software.
Web 3.0, while still in its infancy, promises to make open, trustless, and permissionless networks possible. It consists of several elements that could serve as the building blocks for its success: edge computing, decentralized data networks, 3D graphics, and artificial intelligence.
The Semantic Web is a concept that was proposed during the 1990s by members of the World Wide Web Consortium. It aims to give meaning to words so that content on the web is readable by machines. This makes it easier for programs to share, connect, and create content on the web.
With the Semantic Web, programs will be able to organize a wider range of data sets to perform tasks.
As an example, a lot of content is presently untagged, which means that search engines depend mostly on keywords to identify relevant content. This can result in less accurate search results. Creating a common language across the internet will help make the organization, creation, and use of content more reliable.
Artificial intelligence will be a crucial tool for building the Web of tomorrow. The Semantic Web makes it easier for artificial intelligence to execute natural language processing, allowing for faster and more accurate search results, among other benefits.
Three-dimensional design will be a priority in Web 3.0 as users gain from heightened interactivity in museum guides and computer games. A transition from text to visual displays could form a major part of the Web 3.0 movement.
Blockchain networks offer new methods of storing and using data. The transparent, decentralized network of a blockchain combined with its consensus system enables sharing of information that can be verifiable, based on agreed rules embedded in code.
Comparing Web 2.0 and Web 3.0
The current structure of the internet is based on folksonomy, a method by which data and digital content are organized using tags and labels added by users to identify content.
Web pages are linked, and data shared between websites largely dependent on crowd knowledge for their content. With Web 3.0, machines can recognize a wider range of data sets to categorize the content. This makes it easier to engage users with more useful content.
The intermediaries who provide the digital social trust layers on Web 2.0 tend to depend on extraction rather than attraction of value. They hold disproportionately high power levels, which puts people on their platforms at risk of losing data they don’t want to give away.
For example, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol helps determine how our computers request data from different databases on servers worldwide. A significant proportion of databases and servers are centralized, which questions how much control people really have over their data.
Developer tools are also highly centralized in that they are almost always owned by private companies. This includes APIs owned by big tech companies such as Facebook.
Additionally, network platforms that developers depend on to make websites and applications are private by default, which means that complex sets of permissions are needed (usually from big tech companies) to use networks to develop software. This makes for a closed network with rigid rules.
The underlying data structure of the decentralized internet (Web 3.0) is based on a blockchain rather than a conventional database. The data structure removes the need for usernames and passwords, and the tamper-proof nature of the blockchain provides for ease of collaboration between different groups on open projects.
Projects may be hosted on the decentralized cloud and independent data centers, the perfect structure for public networks and tools. This means anyone can use such platforms without having to get permission from big tech or centralized gatekeepers.
The transparency of the network means that a truly free internet can be achieved as it becomes much more difficult for people to carry out censorship or include nefarious code in their applications.
Is Web 3.0 Already Here?
The Web as we know it has served us well, providing an endless sea of information to improve our daily lives.
Despite this, it presents many challenges which Web 3.0 can solve. While Web 3.0 holds much promise, there is still a long way to go. More uniformity among Web 3.0 projects will be required for the seamless exchange of information. Also, more structures will need to be built for Web 3.0 to truly succeed.
New transactional systems are likely to be a product of Web 3.0 as blockchain becomes more relevant in defining incentives on different networks where people have more control over their data and who they share it with.