The internet was a groundbreaking discovery in the human revolution, and it continues to evolve as the years go by. Today, billions of people in the world make use of the internet; it has almost become an indispensable tool. However, the web system that we have today has not always been this sophisticated and advanced. In fact, it wasn’t until the second iteration of the web that people started to acknowledge the internet as a tool to be reckoned with.
Today, we are on the verge of another transition. This time into web 3.0, which promises to improve on the flaws of the present web system, web 2.0. This article will take you through a comprehensive overview of the history of the web versions and also point out their individual differences.
The first version of the web, web 1.0, came about in 1990. This version of the web was built on three fundamental technologies, namely:
- HyperText Markup Language (HTML) – The web’s formatting language.
- Uniform Resource Locator (URL) – A unique address to identify each platform (website) on the web.
- HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – A protocol that supports the retrieval of linked resources from different platforms on the web.
The primary objective of Web 1.0 was to find and share information; hence it was “read-only,” preventing users from freely interacting. In essence, there was only one way to interact with the website’s content: viewing it. It was much harder to navigate the World Wide Web back then than it is now because there were no search engines.
Although this project met the requirements for exchanging information between academic institutions, governmental organizations, and other entities, it excluded a sizable percentage of the population due to its complexity. The web 2.0 trend was therefore born out of the necessity to make the web more interactive, usable and accessible.
The web as it exists today is known as web 2.0. It is also known as the social web because of how interactive it is. It alludes to a paradigm shift in the way people utilize the internet. The dull web pages of Web 1.0 have been replaced by Web 2.0’s interactivity, social connection, and user-generated content during the last 15 to 20 years.
User-generated content has exploded in recent years thanks to Web 2.0, which allows millions of people worldwide to virtually watch it in an instant. Mobile internet access and social networks, as well as the nearly universal availability of powerful mobile devices such as iPhones and Android-powered smartphones, have all led to the exponential growth of Web 2.
Three primary layers of innovation, Mobile, Social, and Cloud, were largely responsible for the development of web 2.0. These layers contributed to revolutionizing the way that the web is viewed. The read-only mode was no longer relevant, and web 2.0 was now marketed as an interactive platform.
The web did, however, end up becoming more centralized as a result of this. Web 2.0 was fine until people began to doubt the skill of the web companies and authoritative entities that govern it. These central entities and big techs have been associated with intruding on users’ privacy and selling users’ data. Over the years, they have also experienced security breaches and other cyber attacks. Then came web 3.0, whose aim was to reclaim users’ control over their online data and generally improve on the flaws associated with web 3.0.
The decentralized web, often referred to as Web 3.0, intends to create trust on the internet without the involvement of a centralized authority. This stage in the development of the web has the potential to usher in a significant paradigm shift as Web 2.0 did. The fundamental ideas of decentralization, openness and increased consumer usefulness form the foundation of Web 3.0.
Web 3.0 is propelled by four new layers of technological innovation, including edge computing, decentralization, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and blockchain. It seeks to greatly speed up, simplify, and improve Internet searches so that even complex search terms can be handled quickly.
There are no centralized web servers or databases for Web 3.0’s backend logic or application state, respectively. Instead, there is a blockchain that allows developers to create apps on a decentralized state machine that is managed by anonymous web nodes. Google and other current online platforms define information differently than Web 3.0, which promises to define information more logically. The major attributes and traits of web 3.0 will include the following:
- Ubiquity, which basically means “making anything available to everyone.” In this scenario, users can access Web 3.0 from any device and from anywhere in the world without any form of restriction.
- User experience will develop into a higher level of communication that entails leveraging all of the available data thanks to connectivity.
- The Semantic Web will analyze data and information based on word meanings rather than search phrases.
- Using artificial intelligence (AI), machines will be able to process information similarly to how people do.
- 3D graphics – To improve the aesthetic appeal and facilitate content interactivity, graphics will be designed in 3D.
Of all these web 3.0 features, decentralization sits at the central position. Web 3.0 creates a system that is autonomous and free from external control. It gives users total control and ownership, enhanced security, privacy, and anonymity. Unlike web 2.0, web 3.0 is censorship-free and is not controlled by any central entity.
Web 3.0 aims to solve the issues and limits of the previous web. It will build trust between businesses and consumers in how they exchange value on the internet and will take user experience to the next level, much like Web 2.0 made Web 1.0 more visually appealing and engaging.