What Is Web 3? Web1 Web2 Web3 Meanings, easy Defining Features

Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 refer to successive iterations of the Web as compared to the original Web 1.0 of the 1990s and early 2000s. Web 2.0 is the current version of the Internet (a term often used interchangeably with the Web) that we are all familiar with.

Web 3.0 or Web3 is the third generation of the World Wide Web. Currently a work in progress, it envisions a decentralized and open web that provides greater utility to its users.

Web refers to the World Wide Web (WWW), the central information retrieval system of the Internet. The WWW acronym used to (and still does) precede a web address and is one of the first characters typed into a web browser when searching for a particular resource online. Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee coined the term World Wide Web to refer to the global network of information and resources interconnected by hypertext links.

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Web 1.0

Berners-Lee pioneered the early development of the Internet in 1990 as a computer scientist at the European research institute CERN.

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By October 1990, Berners-Lee had written three foundational technologies that became the foundation of the web, including the first web editor/browser (WorldWideWeb.app):

1 HTML: Hypertext Markup Language, the markup or formatting language of the web

2 URI or URL: Uniform Resource Identifier or Locator, the unique address used to identify every resource on the web

3 HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol, allows to retrieve linked resources from web3

The introduction of web browsers such as Netscape Navigator in the mid-1990s ushered in the Web 1.0 era. This was the age of static web pages being fetched from servers — a far cry from the polished content we take for granted today. At the time, most Internet users were excited about new features like e-mail and real-time news retrieval.

Content creation was in its infancy, and users had little opportunity to use interactive applications, although this improved as online banking and commerce became more popular.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 describes a paradigm shift in Internet usage. Over the past 15 to 20 years, the dull web pages of Web 1.0 have been completely replaced by the interactivity, social connectivity, and user-generated content of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 has made user-generated content almost instantly viewable by millions of people around the world; this unprecedented reach has fueled an explosion of such content in recent years.

Key innovations such as mobile internet access and social networking, coupled with the near ubiquity of powerful mobile devices such as iPhones and Android devices, have fueled the exponential growth of Web 2.0. In the second decade of this century, these developments led to the dominance of apps that vastly expanded online interactivity and utility—such as Airbnb, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Uber, WhatsApp, and YouTube and more.

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The remarkable revenue growth of these dominant platforms has propelled many Web 2.0-centric companies — such as Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Netflix — to become the world’s largest companies by market capitalization (there’s even an acronym words). For her: FAANG).

These apps have also fueled the growth of the gig economy, enabling millions of people to earn part-time or full-time income by driving their cars, renting out their homes, delivering groceries and groceries, or selling goods and services online. Web 2.0 has also disrupted certain industries so much that it has become an existential threat for some of them. These industries have either been unable to adapt or have been slow to adapt to new web-centric business models, with retail, entertainment, media and advertising being the hardest hit.

Web 3.0

Web 3.0 represents the next iteration or stage in the evolution of the Web/Internet and is likely to be as disruptive and a massive paradigm shift as Web 2.0. Web 3.0 is built on core concepts of decentralization, openness, and greater user value.

Berners-Lee explained some of these key concepts back in the 1990s, as follows:


“No central authority’s approval is required to publish anything on the Internet, there is no central control node, so there is no single point of failure… and no ‘kill switch’! This also means freedom from indiscriminate censorship and freedom to monitor.”

Bottom-up design:

“Instead of having code written and controlled by a small group of experts, code is developed in front of everyone, encouraging maximum participation and experimentation.”

In a 2001 article, Berners-Lee discussed the concept of what he called the Semantic Web.

Computers have no reliable way of processing the semantics of language (i.e. figuring out the actual context in which a word or phrase is used). Berners-Lee’s vision for the Semantic Web was to build meaningful content for web pages and enable software to perform complex tasks for users.

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Web 3.0 has gone far beyond the original concept of the Semantic Web conceived by Berners-Lee in 2001. This is partly because translating human language (with all its nuances and variations) into a format that computers can easily understand is expensive and extremely difficult, and Web 2.0 has grown significantly over the past two decades.

Defining the characteristics of Web 3.0

Although there is still no standardized definition of Web 3.0, it does have some defining characteristics:


This is a core idea of ​​Web 3.0. In Web 2.0, computers use HTTP in the form of unique URLs to find information stored in a fixed location, usually a single server. Since information in Web 3.0 will be found based on its content, it can be stored in multiple locations at the same time, thus achieving decentralization. This would collapse the vast databases currently held by internet giants such as Meta and Google, giving users greater control.

With Web 3.0, users sell data generated by diverse and increasingly powerful computing resources (including mobile phones, desktops, devices, vehicles, and sensors) through decentralized data networks, ensuring that users retain ownership control.

Trustless and permissionless:

In addition to being decentralized and based on open source software, Web 3.0 will be trustless (meaning the network will allow participants to interact directly without going through a trusted intermediary) and permissionless (meaning every Individuals can participate without authorization from the governing body). Therefore, Web 3.0 applications run on blockchains or decentralized peer-to-peer networks or a combination of these networks – such decentralized applications are called dApps.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning:

In Web 3.0, computers will be able to understand information similar to humans through technologies based on semantic web concepts and natural language processing. Web 3.0 will also use machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that uses data and algorithms to mimic human learning and gradually improve its accuracy. These capabilities will enable computers to produce faster and more relevant results in fields as diverse as drug development and new materials, rather than just targeted advertising, which accounts for the bulk of current work.

Connectivity and ubiquity:

With Web 3.0, information and content are more connected and ubiquitous, accessible through multiple applications, and more everyday devices are connected to the Internet – the Internet of Things is an example.

The Potential and Pitfalls of Web 3.0

Web 3.0 has the potential to bring greater value to users, well beyond the social media, streaming, and online shopping that make up the majority of Web 2.0 applications used by consumers. As the core of Web 3.0, capabilities such as the semantic web, artificial intelligence, and machine learning may greatly increase their applications in new fields and greatly improve user interaction.

Core features of Web 3.0, such as decentralized and permissionless systems, will also give users greater control over their personal information. This helps limit the practice of data extraction — the collection of information from web users without their consent or compensation — and curb the network effects that allow tech giants to approach near-monopoly through exploitative advertising and marketing practices .

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However, decentralization also carries significant legal and regulatory risks. Cybercrime, hate speech, and misinformation are already difficult to monitor and will become even more powerful in a decentralized structure due to the lack of central control. A decentralized web can also make regulation and enforcement very difficult; for example, which country would file an application for a particular website whose content is hosted in multiple countries around the world?

The article on Metaverse summarized in the previous post is as follows.


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