What Are Web 2.0 and Web 3.0?
When compared to the Web 1.0 of the 1990s and early 2000s, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are the next versions of the web. Web 2.0 is the latest version of the internet, which is often used interchangeably with the word “web.”
The third generation of the World Wide Web is called Web 3.0 or Web 3. It is a plan for a decentralized, open Web that has more uses for its users. It is still being worked on.
Web stands for the World Wide Web (WWW), which is the main way that information is found on the internet. The WWW initialism used to be one of the first characters typed into a web browser when looking for a specific resource online, and it often still is. Tim Berners-Lee, who was one of the first people to use the Internet, is credited with coming up with the term “World Wide Web” to describe the global web of information and resources that are linked together by hypertext links.
Web Definition KEY TAKEAWAYS
- Web 1.0 was created in the 1990s and early 2000s. Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are the next, more advanced versions of Web 1.0. We are all familiar with Web 2.0, which is the current version of the web. Web 3.0 is the next step, which will be decentralized, open, and more useful.
- Web 2.0 has grown by leaps and bounds because of new things like smartphones, mobile Internet access, and social networks.
- Web 2.0 has changed industries that don’t adapt to the new way of doing business on the web.
- Web 3.0 is characterized by things like decentralization, not needing trust or permission, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, connectivity, and being everywhere.
Berners-Lee was a computer scientist at the European research center CERN in 1990 when he was one of the first people to work on the internet. 2 By October 1990, Berners-Lee had written the three basic technologies that became the basis of the web, including the first webpage editor/browser (WorldWideWeb.app):
- HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is the language used to format or mark up web pages.
- URI or URL stands for “Uniform Resource Identifier or Locator.” This is a unique address that can be used to find any web resource.
- HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, which lets linked resources from all over the web be retrieved.
Web 1.0 began around the middle of the 1990s when web browsers like Netscape Navigator came out. This was when websites were mostly static and got their information from servers. This was a long way from the slick content that is commonplace today. Most people who used the internet at that time were excited by new features like email and getting news in real-time. Content creation was just getting started, and users didn’t have many options for interactive apps. This changed as online banking and trading became more popular, though.
Web 2.0 is a change in the way people use the internet. Over the past 15 to 20 years, Web 2.0’s interactive features, social connections, and user-generated content have completely replaced Web 1.0’s boring pages. Web 2.0 makes it possible for user-generated content to be seen almost instantly by millions of people all over the world. This unprecedented reach has led to an explosion of this kind of content in the past few years.
Web 2.0 has grown by leaps and bounds because of key innovations like mobile internet access and social networks, as well as the fact that powerful mobile devices like iPhones and devices that run on Android are almost everywhere. In the second decade of this century, these changes led to the rise of apps like Airbnb, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Uber, WhatsApp, and YouTube, which made the Internet much more interactive and useful.
Many of the Web 2.0 companies, like Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Netflix, are among the world’s biggest companies by market capitalization because of how quickly their sales have grown (there is even an acronym for them: FAANG).
These apps have also helped the gig economy grow by allowing millions of people to make money part-time or full-time by driving, renting out their homes, delivering food and groceries, or selling goods and services online. Web 2.0 has also caused a lot of trouble in some industries, to the point where it is a threat to the very existence of some of them. These are the industries that have either not changed at all or have done so slowly. Retail, entertainment, media, and advertising have been hit the hardest.
This year, Google’s initial public offering (IPO) and the creation of Facebook were two big events that helped Web 2.0 grow and become more popular (now Meta). 45 Both companies are in the FAANG group, which is made up of the biggest tech companies in the United States.
FAQs – Web 3.0 Definition
Web 3.0 is the next step in the evolution of the web/internet. It could be as disruptive and cause as big of a shift in the way things work as Web 2.0. Web 3.0 is based on the ideas of decentralization, openness, and making things easier for users.
In the 1990s, Berners-Lee talked more about some of these key ideas, as shown below:
- Decentralization: No central authority is required to put anything online. There is no single point of failure or “kill switch” since there is no central controlling node. People are also free from arbitrary censorship and monitoring.
- Bottom-up design: Instead of being developed in secret by a select few, the code was made available to the public. This promoted maximum engagement and exploration.”
In a paper he wrote in 2001, Berners-Lee talked about the idea of what he called the “Semantic Web.” 67 Computers don’t have a good way to figure out what words mean (i.e., figure out the actual context in which a word or phrase is used). Berners-idea Lee’s for the Semantic Web was to give meaning to the text on webpages and make it possible for the software to help users do complex tasks.
Web 3.0 is much more than what Berners-Lee had in mind when he first thought of the Semantic Web in 2001. This is because it is very expensive and very hard to turn human language, with all of its subtleties and variations, into a format that computers can easily understand. Also, Web 2.0 has changed a lot over the past 20 years.
Defining Features of Web 3.0
Even though there isn’t a set definition of Web 3.0 yet, there are a few things that make it stand out:
Decentralization: Web 3.0 emphasizes this. Web 2.0 systems utilize HTTP to locate information on a single server using unique web addresses. Web 3.0 allowed content-based information storage in several locations. Decentralization. This would decentralize Google and Meta’s massive datasets and empower people.
Web 3.0 allows individuals to sell data from their phones, PCs, appliances, automobiles, and sensors over decentralized data networks. Users will own and manage their data.
Trustless and permissionless: Web 3.0 will not only be based on open-source software and be decentralized, but it will also be trustless (meaning that people can talk to each other directly without going through a trusted third party) and permissionless (meaning that anyone can participate without authorization from a governing body). So, Web 3.0 apps will run on blockchains, decentralized peer-to-peer networks, or a combination of the two. “DApps” is “decentralized apps.”
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning: Through technologies based on Semantic Web ideas and natural language processing, computers will be able to understand the information in the same way that humans do. Web 3.0 will also use machine learning, which is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that uses data and algorithms to imitate how humans learn, gradually getting better at it. With these features, computers will be able to produce faster and more accurate results in a wide range of fields, such as drug development and new materials, instead of just targeted advertising, which is the main focus of current efforts.
Connectivity and ubiquity: With Web 3.0, information and content are more linked and easy to find. They can be accessed by multiple apps, and more and more everyday devices are connecting to the web. The Internet of Things is one example of this.
Potential and Pitfalls of Web 3.0
Web 3.0 has the potential to be much more useful than Web 2.0, which is mostly used for social media, streaming, and online shopping. Semantic Web, AI, and machine learning, which are at the heart of Web 3.0, have the potential to make it more useful in new areas and change how people interact with it in a big way.
Some of the most important parts of Web 3.0, like decentralization and systems that don’t need permission, will also give users much more control over their data. This could help stop the practice of “data extraction,” which is when information about web users is taken without their permission or payment, and stop the “network effects” that have helped the tech giants become near-monopolies by using exploitative advertising and marketing practices.
Decentralization, on the other hand, comes with a lot of legal and regulatory risks. Cybercrime, hate speech, and false information are hard to stop as it is, and they will be even harder to stop in a decentralized system because there will be no one in charge. A decentralized web would also make it hard to regulate and enforce laws. For example, which country’s laws would apply to a website whose content is hosted in many different countries around the world?
The Bottom Line
To use a movie analogy, if Web 1.0 was the black-and-white movie era, Web 2.0 would be the age of color and basic 3D, and Web 3.0 would be immersive experiences in the metaverse. In the 2010s, Web 2.0 became the most important thing in business and culture around the world. In the 2020s, it might be Web 3.0’s turn to be the most important thing. When Facebook changes its name to Meta on October 28, 2021, it could be a sign that the move to Web 3.0 is gaining speed.
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