The rise of Web3
The rise of Web3
In the early days of the web, only a handful of people were creating pages and putting content out there so that it was easier for people to find the information they needed. Replacing the beloved Encyclopaedia, Web 1.0 is sometimes called “the read-only Web” because it didn’t feature the rich media content or interactivity we’re accustomed to today. While Web 1.0 might sound decidedly bland by modern standards, it hinted at the incredible potential of future digital communication, creative expression and information-sharing.
Web 2.0 is essentially Web 1.0 on steroids. More people generating more content for a larger audience. Where Web 1.0 centred on reading, Web 2.0 was all about participating and interactivity, with a major emphasis on user-generated content. With Web 2.0 we’ve seen the rise of communities, dialogue and social media. It is still considered the primary form of web interaction for most users today. And so the “read-only Web” transformed into the more participative, “read and write/create Web”. With the emergence of Web2, users could publish video content on YouTube, share snapshots of their lives on Instagram or showcase what their business or brand is doing on LinkedIn.
And now, the Web is moving towards a redesign. Again.
Introducing Web 3.0
Wherever you look, people are talking about Web3 or Web 3.0. Sometimes dubbed the “decentralised internet”, Web3 is a still-developing idea for a third generation of the web. The concept seeks to create an Internet that isn’t controlled by, and cuts out, huge corporations like Google or Facebook or Twitter who have the power to set the rules around what we can and can’t do online. Bringing together technologies like blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrencies and decentralized autonomous organisations (DAOs), Web3 gives us all the tools we need to create online spaces that we truly own and provides users with control over our their online presence, finance and data. By empowering the consumer in this way, brands will undoubtedly have to readjust their relationship with their customers; totally transforming customer engagement.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the key benefits and downsides of Web 3.0.
• It WILL give control of a user’s data back to that user.
• It WON’T have a great impact on the environment with massive amounts of energy needed to power Web3 technologies.
• It DOES involve the development of highly realistic VR/AR, which can create truly immersive worlds for users – which is critical to the success of the metaverse – and creating new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers.
• It WILL mean that users can interact without giving away their personal data
• It WILL be less susceptible to censorship.
• It DOES eliminate the need for a trusted intermediary to facilitate connections.
• It WILL empower consumers by allowing them to become stakeholders in a company and make decisions about that company’s future, with digital tokens acting much like shares.
• It WILL open up previously unimaginable opportunities for brands to create connections with consumers and communities.
• It WILL reduce the imbalance of power between content creators and platforms, allowing creators to have a digital identity that they can take with them if/when they decide to leave a platform.
• It DOES have potential to disrupt, and even replace, legacy banking systems.
• It WON’T democratise the Internet because accessing some of the main Web3 applications can be quite difficult.
• It WON’T really cater to less-wealthy, developing nations due to high transaction fees.
• It WILL unlock whole new world of information by opening up semantically relevant results based on search context. This makes web browsing more convenient.
• It DOES potentially increase the amount of nasty and malicious activity online because it is unregulated.