By democratizing data and giving power back to internet users, Web 3.0 offers many new computing possibilities and growth opportunities for enterprises and IT service providers. Learn more about the evolution of the web and how the decentralization of the internet is poised to shake up business and operating models.
The evolution of the Web – from Web 1.0 to Web 3.0
The first internet version (Web 1.0) was limited in scope and interactivity. Users could only read what was displayed or shown to them, and communication was one-way with website hosts primarily focused on delivering content and information.
With Web 2.0, the internet became all about interactivity and collaboration. Web 2.0’s emphasis on social connectivity and user-generated content completely replaced Web 1.0’s bland read-only web pages. Users now could produce and share information online and were no longer limited to being passive content consumers. Instead of read-only, the web evolved to be read-write, with companies creating platforms to share user-generated content and engage in user-to-user interactions.
Web 2.0, however, led to the web’s primarily advertising-driven business/monetization model. Google, YouTube, and Facebook realized along the way that storing and transmitting the state of billions of users and targeting them for advertising is hugely profitable. The benefits of the internet slowly started skewing heavily towards a handful of these platforms.
With Web 2.0’s innovation curve now in its middle to late phase and its leaders well-established, it is time to explore the new computing possibilities of the next wave. Web 3.0 is evolving as a reaction to the overwhelmingly centralized nature of the internet today and the concentration of power in the hands of a few platforms. Web 3.0, by construct, aims to remove these third-party intermediaries and restore power to users so that they can benefit from internet activities.
Let’s look at the changes in interaction, computation, and information as illustrated below:
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is vastly different from previous generations. At its core, Web 3.0 is not about speed, performance, or convenience. Instead, Web 3.0 is about power; in fact, many Web 3.0 applications are, at least today, slower, and less convenient than existing products.
The primary focus of Web 3.0 is about who controls the technologies and applications that make up the internet and distributing its benefits without handing most of the power to a handful of large companies as we do today. Web 3.0, by construct, aims to remove third-party intermediaries and restore power to users so they can have a more immersive internet experience.
Decentralization of the internet under Web 3.0 will lead to a fairer and more open internet as it will allow anyone with an internet connection to participate and contribute to the ecosystem and enjoy greater benefits from web activities. Web 3.0 will also improve trust and reduce conflicts as users will possess the private key that can access their data, thereby eliminating the need for conflict resolution in the digital world.
We see Web 3.0 becoming a meaningful extension of Web 2.0, with the change being an evolution rather than a revolution with pockets of decentralized applications coexisting with the centralized web of today. The rollout will be gradual with a Web 2.5 stage.
Where is the internet headed?
The core concept of the Web 3.0 movement is decentralized ownership, with blockchain technology providing the underlying architecture for the internet’s next generation. Here are three key trends we see that will shape the future:
- Decentralized platforms will allow for sustainable ecosystems of third-party applications
The products and services that make up the internet today tend to be produced and controlled by individual corporations. Web 3.0 provides the opportunity to democratize the online experience and ensure that no central entity will take a substantial chunk of the revenue; instead, creators will be able to directly interact with their users, strengthening relationships for both creators and users.
- Money will become a native feature of the internet
While the past internet was simply a portal to the traditional financial system offline, now any user with an internet connection and phone can send or receive payments with the current software capabilities. Digital payments will unlock new business models that were previously impractical, radically lower the costs of cross-border remittances and other transactions, enable new use cases like machine payments, and expand availability to massive new markets.
- Users will have more control over their digital identities and data
Web 3.0 is laying the groundwork for personal control of online identities. Today, most online identities belong to big, centralized companies. Web 3.0 will give users control over their data by allowing them to use their identity rather than one provided by a third party, limiting the potential for identity providers such as Facebook, Instagram, and Gmail to collect user data and sell that data to generate money.
Web 3.0 challenges
Business leaders need to realize that Web 3.0 is coming and pay attention to its latest development. But creating an ecosystem that can end the big tech companies’ monopolies and reimagine how we interact with the internet is a complex undertaking. Web 3.0 still faces significant hurdles in usability, performance, and business and monetization models, as illustrated below:
A new internet era begins
Web 3.0 represents the natural progression of the internet that offers many exciting opportunities for technology and IT service providers. To seize its growth potential, providers need to focus on creating thought capital, hiring techno-creative thinkers, and building a go-to-market strategy to target a broader range of Web 3.0 themes to prepare for the coming transition.
To read more about Web 3.0 leading providers, see Web 3.0 Trailblazers – The Top Start-ups Building the Next Generation of the Internet. To discuss topics related to the evolution of the web, please contact Parul Trivedi, Sandeep Pattathil, and Nikhil Singh.
Learn more in our webinar, Web 3.0 and Metaverse: Implications for Sourcing and Technology Leaders.