Web3 is the third ‘iteration’ of the internet. Hence, you can think of the internet as a spectrum of evolution. Change is the only constant. Hence, the internet is always changing. We started with static web pages in the 1990s. Today, we can do many things, like shop, communicate, collaborate, play and earn. To shed some context of how we got here, it is best if we start a history lesson. This history lesson gets divided into Web1, Web2 and Web3. Once done, we can understand how Web3 is a new way of engaging your audience and gaining a competitive edge.
What is Web1?
We start with the invention of the transistor and microprocessor. Hence, these silicon based electronic items help information in as little space as possible. You must be familiar with Moore’s law. It says that every 18 months or so, our ability to pack in information in less space has doubled. This means that we do more with our information with less space. As we gained the ability to store massive amounts of data, we broadcast everyone. Grand projects laid fibre optic cables connected every home with a broadband connection. This is the apex time of the Web1 era. In the 1980s and 1990s, we saw the formation of gigantic corporations we’re familiar with today. They include Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
The Web1 era is best characterized by decentralized, free to use protocols like HTTP, SMTP and TCP/IP. HTTP allowed developers to build websites. SMTP started the email era. TCP/IP started the internet. It is the protocol that regulates the transfer of data from one computer network to another.
What is Web2?
Post the 2000s, the attention shifted to how we could use free to use protocols to create value. Hence, people start questions with regards to the usability of the internet in our daily lives. Apart from sharing information via free to use websites, the focus shifted. The era of digital advertising had begun. We saw e-commerce, social media, payment processors and other services. The digital economy started in the 2000s. As we moved past the great financial crisis of 2008, everything was on its way to becoming digitized.
The best example of web2 is the emergence of the iPhone and mobile internet. As costs began to fall across the world, people started accessing the internet. People started to come online for long periods of time. This meant that attention had shifted online. It was now on its way to become monetized via advertising, commerce and entertainment.
What is Web3?
The emergence of the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2009 is the starting point of Web3. For instance, the term Web3 gets used before, in different contexts. The idea of a user-owned internet is not new. Since the 1990s, researchers and academics sought to build a peer-to-peer network. This would not require the need of platform based businesses. Satoshi Nakomato, with Bitcoin, had proven for the first time that it was possible in practice.
In Web3, tokens represent the atomic units of a new internet. Hence, what websites were to Web2, tokens are to Web3. Tokens allow us to bake payments into the core of the internet itself. The financial system always existed separate from the internet. With blockchain technology, human value exchange and coordination can scale across the world. Creators will thrive in this new economy. Users do not need to worry about advertisers everywhere they go. Also, important to note is that Web3 will end the practice of data monopolies. Instead make companies focus on building great products and services.
Web3: A new of Engaging your Audience and Gaining a Competitive Edge
So why is Web3 a game changer for companies and businesses? Let’s explore. For instance, we classify the points according to the criteria of the audience’s point of view. Also, we keep in mind that businesses want to gain a competitive edge by using Web3 technologies.
Give Users the Control they Seek
Data privacy is a topic that engages minds. Hence, it is not taken seriously because solutions are cumbersome for users. For instance, as an internet user, you need to perform a lot of steps to ensure that you own your data. Likewise, in Web3, the blockchain makes this problem redundant. Hence, every interaction that we make on a blockchain enabled website uses smart contracts. Users now own this data in their wallets.
Web3 allows Companies to Engage Users with Digital Assets
The NFT market is not new. In a sense, popular games used digital items and skins to engage users, but did it in their own walled gardens. Likewise, Web3 and NFTs allow companies to create interoperable digital assets. Every company with an online presence can engage their users with digital assets. Programmable digital assets allow users to gain access to specific experiences.
Web3 uses blockchain technology to create new economic value
Web3 reinvents the data structures of the internet. Hence, it changes the dynamics between users and companies. Blockchain technology turns customers into owners of the companies using tokens. This subtle shift has giant repercussions for every company on the planet. Tokens turn users into marketers.
Token owners love to talk about companies to others and in the process helps companies grow. This was something never possible in the history of the world. For instance, for the longest time, companies treated customers as something to chase. Web3 reinvents this old paradigm into a new form of economic value.
Web3 reinvents the internet. For instance, the Web2 world is still coming to terms with it. However, not for long. Likewise, the biggest companies and institutions in the world have already announced plans for digital assets. We’re entering into a decentralized internet, and it is possible that it will be faster than the translation from Web1 to Web2. Companies of all sizes need to come to terms with this shift and seek to play as per their current business models. For instance, if your business model is native to the internet, then you’ve no choice but to adapt to Web3.
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