Web1, Web2 and Web3- The future of the internet as we know

source (modified on canva)

The internet is ever-evolving, going from a single website in 1991 at CERN, to over 1.86 billion websites around the world in 2021. In a small period of 30 years, the internet has helped hundreds of millions of companies to grow, contributing to trillions of dollars of the world economy.

There are more than 4.6 billion internet users in the world today. Over 250000 websites are created every day, on the internet. However, all of this wouldn’t have been possible without the constant evolution of the internet.

Even though the internet is constantly evolving, the biggest changes carry the most significance. The internet changed the most during the development of web2 and now web3, starting from the original web (web1).

Let’s take a look at each stage of them closely-

Web1 (1990s-2000s)

The first allotment of the internet is web1. It is also known as 'read-only web' because sites on web1 didn’t allow it’s users to interact with them. It consisted of static, personal websites that were based on a directory on the creator’s own computer or database. Customers could only visit, but not make changes to the information on the websites. There were no social media apps that exist today. No Youtube, no Instagram, no Snapchat, nothing. It is, of course, the most boring stage of the three.

Web2 (2000s-now)

With the gradual development of websites based on web2 (aka web2.0), things started getting exciting on the internet. With web2, you could interact with the websites and applications online, contributing to the website without being affiliated with the owners of the website. Web2 calls for social interaction. It involves us, the users to interact with the websites and make our information public without being a developer of the websites. This is pretty much the web all of us use today. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, mostly everything on the internet right now is based on web2. Web2 led to the formation of content creators, social media influencers and internet personalities that we know today. The information let out in web2 is stored with cloud technology, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. This basically leads to centralization of data, i.e., the data is stored in the hands of a few companies. This is the main reason web3 is being developed, to prevent monopolization of data.

Web3 (upcoming)

Web3, also called The Semantic Web, is an upcoming stage of the web based on top of the ever-growing Blockchain technology on the internet. The underlying Blockchain technology, which is used in Cryptocurrencies and NFTs, allows for decentralization of information as the data is stored on top of a blockchain, instead of being stored on the cloud. The information is not handled by any company, rather, the information is released everywhere on different blocks of information connected by what is called a chain, and no single company can handle the data. This is the main motive of web3, how it’s significantly different from web3 and how it will prevent centralization of data within a few companies in the future. NFTs and Cryptocurrencies are somewhat based on web3. Even AI-powered software applications such as Alexa and Siri are believed to be based on web3. This is because web3 is believed to also be based on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and 3D (3 Dimensional) development. Voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google use Artificial Intelligence to run. AI, in the foreseen future, could empower millions of websites and applications around the world. AI, 3D objects and Machine learning combined with an underlying decentralized Blockchain technology that does not require permission to run may initiate the perfect example of web3.

However, different sources have different views on what web3 is, and I believe that web3 would combine all upcoming futuristic technologies, such as those I listed earlier, to create what is called a ‘dapp’ (Decentralised APPlication), in which there wouldn’t be any required permission to post or retrieve any information.

Is The Metaverse an example of web3?

Yes, it might just be. A decentralized, AI-powered platform based on Virtual Reality could be based on web3.

Will there be web4?

Well, we don’t know and we can’t really say. It is possible that web3 continues to evolve and becomes the best suitable representation of the internet, while it’s also possible that some new technology that is variably different from web3 develops in the future that can replace the blockchain technology to create something more beneficial for the internet. And that could probably be called the web4. However, as of now, web3 is the future.

What about web5, web6 and web7

Let’s not get carried away, and focus on what could be the foreseeable future. Though there are websites claiming information on what the upcoming different stages of the web are, I would recommend sticking on web3, as even web3 cannot be defined clearly at the moment.

Thanks for being with me, and have a great day (or night- whatever.)

Lakshya Daryani

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16 with a keen interest in Technology

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Lakshya Daryani

Lakshya Daryani

16 with a keen interest in Technology

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