The crazy crypto boy is typing…
Today, we will learn about web 3.0, and it’s going to be a long ride.
Just like other blockchain concepts, this too was tagged as a fad by some media. I’m not here to dispute that but I will tell you what the believers of the tech (including me) say it is.
It’s dazzling that technology moves so fast but this is also what makes it interesting. I also feel that this dizzying dynamism is the source of disbelief by people who cannot absorb so fast. Yes, people can be conservative.
Enough of that… Let’s plunge in.
Web3.0 is here and it sounds like a buzzword only meant for crypto lovers or preachers of decentralization. If you have not heard of Web three point zero, you’re not on crypto Twitter.
Is web3 all about crypto? What other webs do we have? I will answer these questions right now starting with a brief introduction of how the web even started.
The web invented (CERN, Switzerland- 1989)
The web was invented out of the need to share information seamlessly among scientists at the CERN laboratory. Scientists from across the world visit Switzerland to use the accelerator at CERN. Sir Tim Berners Lee realized that they have to log in to different computers each time they need access to new information.
In a bid to solve this problem, he created an information ecosystem that can be linked together using hypertext. This way everyone can access information remotely and seamlessly.
This is the foundation stone of the web we know today. Down the line, Sir Tim wrote two more technologies, URL and HTTP, to enable the world to utilize the potential of this information ecosystem, the web.
Web 1.0, as it will later be referred to, solved the problem that led to its creation. Creators in this web are programmers who know the technicalities of publishing information on the web, and organizations who can afford the services of the programmers.
In web 1.0, information is hosted on static web pages. Other participants of the web1.0 economy are the consumers who simply go online, usually via a designated cyber cafe or with an office computer. While they can easily access a myriad of information online, they can neither comment directly on the information nor create theirs. This is the limit of web 1.0.
Imagine if all the websites today are read-only. That means I will not have this beautiful WordPress blog nor will I be able to publish tweets on Twitter. But we will still enjoy health information from WHO’s website and perhaps, your school website too.
Web 2.0 is similar to an upgrade from web 1.0, with new features and increased flexibility.
While web 1.0 gives remote access to information, web2.0 extends this functionality to include giving users the power to create their own data. The era of the second generation of the web paralleled the infiltration of internet-friendly mobile phones into the global market.
The two-way architecture of web2.0 allows users to consume data and also create theirs. This web arrangement gave rise to social platforms(Facebook, Twitter), blogs, picture-sharing sites(Pinterest), video-sharing sites (Youtube).
The features of web 2.0 make it a dynamic web allowing user-generated content and an unseen-before content explosion.
Web 2 brought about online social interaction and made it possible for users to create and monetize their efforts. Youtube do not create videos but they house over a million video files. This is a feature of the web not available in web 1.0. Similarly, Facebook will be an empty vacuum if not for user-generated content.
It is fun and entertaining for consumers of the web 2.0 economy and on the other hand profitable for the owners of the tech built on the web2. Since these platforms are literally free to use, and their owners are not any random good samaritan, they resorted to a profit model that earned web2.0 its notoriety.
This profit model gave rise to the business of data selling.
Yeah really… they sell your data. You are getting this… take a brief pause and sip your coffee, juice (whatever) before we continue. I have an on-field understanding of this data selling while working as a Facebook marketer a few years back.
Now, have you wondered why some Facebook posts have ‘SPONSORED’ written on them? This means the publisher paid Facebook to circulate it. But that’s not our major concern.
The more important question is ‘why are you seeing it?’ If you have not noticed this before, I suggest you go to your Facebook feed and scroll a bit, minimize, go to aliexpress.com spend a few minutes there by clicking on some of the displayed products. You can click on ‘buy’ to make the site notice your presence. Then go back to your Facebook feed. Chances are that you will see a sponsored post from Aliexpress handle on your Facebook feed showing you the same products you clicked on.
This is neither magic nor rocket science, it is web 2.0. I will explain Facebook marketing to you now.
I have some friends that keep their age and other biodata private. But it is ironic and ridiculous how they give it out freely to Facebook when they created their account. They say their location and tell Facebook what they are interested in, current location, their workplace and literally everything about them even the TV channels they watch.
On the surface level, Facebook uses this data to match you with people you may know. On the other hand, it uses it to serve you ads that you may buy.
Simply put, an advertiser pays Facebook and tells it to show a post to male users in a particular location that is within the age range of 18-21. The post will contain a male shoe with sizes corresponding to what 18 to 21 year-olds will wear. To increase their chances of selling, the advertiser says it is free delivery to everyone in your location. (the advertiser here is not guessing your location, and there are chances delivery fee has been added to the cost)
Do you now know how the advertisers know your age, location, and shoe size? And why the post appeared in your feed and not in your girlfriend’s.
Facebook in order to monitor your web activities off the platform introduced a Facebook pixel. The pixel tracks your online activities outside the platform provided that the website you visited has the code installed on their website. This pixel is widely used across different e-commerce sites.
This is called retargeting. Merchants use this pixel to remarket to a potential buyer who may have changed their mind after visiting the buy page. It is also used on actual buyers who went through the checkout page. In the latter case, the buyer sees a different ad. Mostly showcasing a product that goes together with the one already purchased. If you bought a black shoe, you will likely see a black belt ad on your Facebook feed.
This is it. Data selling and persuasive marketing. This is web 2.0
Web 3 is the third evolution of the web. It will offer an open, trustless, decentralized, and personalized experience to users. Web 3 is the game-changer. It will abolish central control, censorship, and data monopoly existing in the current web. It makes everyone on the web anonymous.
Features of web 3
While web 3 is yet to enjoy full adoption from the masses, it will have the following features when fully deployed.
Web 3 will be integrated with artificial intelligence. This will offer users a personalized experience. Search engines will be smarter, delivering personalized search results to every user.
Unlike in web 2, personal data is not required to take part in web 3, hence the concerns of trust will not be raised.
This means that everything will be seamlessly connected. In web 2, you need to create different accounts for your Facebook, Twitter, and the likes. Web 3 will make this obsolete because you will probably need to only ‘Connect Wallet’ to make use of web 3 services.
There will be full integration of cryptocurrencies in web 3 economies. Crypto tokens will be used to reward creators and incentivize activities.
There will be no central control and censorship from any authority or influence. This new web will be open, free, and fair.
During the covid19 saga, Chinese authorities closed down the social media handles of journalists with implicating information. Web 3 will abolish central authority making it impossible to influence events.
Central authorities have the power to downplay the exposure of certain information and the amplification of some. These are impossible on the new web.
What started as the need to share data grew to a tool to collect and sell data. Web 3 is here to give users a choice.
Web 3 is all about decentralization and everything that comes with it- data privacy, trustless and democratic economy.
It is only natural that web3 is common among crypto lovers because the two technologies are built with the same decentralization backbone. However, web 3 goes beyond crypto. It is a new way to be online, without a big dollar-hungry eye watching you. It is the fairest form of the internet yet to be.