Over the past few decades, the internet has undergone a major transformation from its early days of static websites and basic HTML pages of Web1 to the dynamic, interactive platforms we know today. This evolution has been defined by two distinct eras of the web: Web2 and Web3.
While Web2 was characterized by user-generated content and social media platforms, Web3 promises to take things a step further by introducing decentralized networks and blockchain technology. In this article, we will explore the key differences between these two eras of the internet and the implications they hold for the future of the web.
What is Web 1.0?
Before we go on to explore the differences between web2 and web3, let’s first take a look at the earliest version of the internet.
The initial version of the internet, commonly referred to as Web 1.0, was primarily designed to serve the interests of corporations rather than individuals.
Proficiency in utilizing the internet was limited to a select few, and major companies often hired computer professionals to manage and facilitate its use for their employees.
It is noteworthy that during this era, users were charged based on the number of web pages they accessed. Examples of Web 1.0 platforms include MySpace, Google, LiveJournal, and Yahoo.
In essence, Web 1.0 was a content delivery network (CDN) that allowed users to view static data on websites without providing any means for them to express their opinions or ideas.
What is Web 2.0?
Web2 is an improved version of Web1 that has replaced the static web pages of its predecessor. It introduced dynamic features such as blogs, wikis, and social media platforms, transforming how we deliver information on the internet.
Web 2.0’s exponential growth can be attributed to innovations such as mobile internet access, social networks, and mobile devices, which led to the development of applications like Facebook and Twitter, expanding social interactivity and utility.
With Web2, the world became a smaller place, bringing people together in unprecedented ways. Moreover, Web2 enabled individuals to earn income in new ways, whether on a part-time or full-time basis. It facilitated services like online selling, home rentals, and remote work, providing increased opportunities for people to work from the comfort of their own homes.
What is Web 3.0?
Now before we compare and contrast Web2 and Web3, let’s answer the question: “What is Web3?“
Web3, the version of the internet that comes after Web 2.0, represents an upgrade to its predecessors: Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. It marks a paradigm shift similar to the one caused by Web 2.0. Coined by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, Web3 uses blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs to give users more control over their data and internet activities.
Web3, also known as the Semantic Web, is a blockchain-based internet that aims to improve the current internet experience. It will be an enhanced version of Web 2.0, with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning enabling computers to interpret information like humans.
A significant difference between Web2 and Web3 is that the latter will address the flaws of the former by allowing web users to monetize their activity and contributions to a platform.
Currently, social media users do not receive payment for using these platforms. However, a social media platform built on Web3 will make it possible for users to earn while using the platform.
What is the difference between Web2 and Web3?
Although Web2 and Web3 share similar backgrounds and technologies, they approach challenges differently.
The primary difference is that Web 2.0 emphasizes reading and writing content, while Web 3.0 emphasizes creating content through the Semantic Web. Web3 is a superior approach, using technology to enable information exchange among web users while enhancing cybersecurity.
Another difference between these two versions of the internet is the currency used within them. In Web 2, transactions are conducted using fiat currency, i.e., government-issued money like the US dollar. On the contrary, Web3 employs encrypted digital currencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin, commonly known as cryptocurrencies, to facilitate transactions.
In terms of content ownership, Web 2.0 entrusts the network with the responsibility of information storage, which raises concerns about data security and anonymity. In contrast, Web 3.0 addresses this concern through its ability to facilitate data exchange across multiple locations at the same time.
And finally, podcasts, social bookmarking, blogs, RSS feeds, and video sites are some examples of how Web2 technologies are used. However, Web3 introduces more advanced technologies like AI and machine learning-powered decentralized applications (dApps), virtual worlds, and 3D portals.
Why should you care about Web3?
Now that we have discussed the differences between web2 and Web3, let’s see what is about Web3 that makes it the future of the internet.
Some of the significant advantages of Web3 include:
- Enhanced Privacy: Web3 prioritizes privacy and security over surveillance and control, enabling users to retain complete authority over their data. Users can share or conceal information based on their preferences.
- Improved Security: Web3’s blockchain technology and autonomous structure make it more secure than previous iterations of the internet. Hackers will find it difficult to exploit the network, and their activities will be logged even if they do. While hacks are still possible in a decentralized system, most blockchains have developed measures to prevent them.
- Greater Ubiquity: Web3 enables multiple apps to access data, with each device connected to the internet, allowing services to be accessed from anywhere.
- Semantic Web: The Semantic Web represents the next phase in the evolution of the internet, enhancing the overall web-based platform experience. Semantic technologies enable users to create online data repositories, define vocabularies, and establish data handling rules using RDF, OWL, SKOS, and SPARQL.
- Improved Connectivity: With Web3’s semantic content, data is intimately linked, offering users an improved user experience that takes connectivity to new heights, harnessing all available data.
What are Web3 domain names?
In the final step of our web2 and web3 comparison, let’s take a look at the concept of domain ownership in Web3.
The next stage of online identity is embodied in Web3 domain names as they provide more than just a regular web address. They serve as a platform to exhibit your work and establish a personal portfolio, which makes them an excellent option for creative individuals like artists, designers, and coders who wish to showcase their creations in their unique style.
Moreover, businesses can benefit from Web3 domain names as it provides them with complete data control and the assurance of their safety, making it a valuable solution.
Teleport Plaque Address (TPA) introduces an innovative method of domain ownership. Using Web3 TPA, users can securely manage and utilize their domains without depending on centralized intermediaries.
TPA guarantees that users can access websites without being subjected to any kind of manipulation or censorship by central authorities. It is a six-character code comprising three letters and three numbers that are designated to Web3 sites.