The first version of the internet came into use in the latter parts of the 1990s, but his first version (web 1) wasn’t as intricate as the current version. It had features like blue hyperlinks, basic fonts, and gray buttons synonymous with the modern website when stripped to HTML.
Over the years, web 1 has evolved to what we know as web 2—the dynamic and interactive phase where consumers consume content in massive proportions via blogs and social media. With these innovations in the web, businesses have had to adopt newer methods to exploit and access the global market of over 5 billion internet users/consumers while also expanding.
However, this quest for a large share of the internet has left some big tech companies like Facebook embroiled in rising privacy, harassment, and censorship concerns among consumers. The solution? A transition from web 2.0 to a new internet generation—Web3.0. But how does it work, and how will Web3.0 impact big tech in the long run? Let’s find out!
How Does Web 3.0 work?
If you didn’t already know, Web 3.0 would become the newest internet tech since the coming of Web 2.0 in 2005. It combines artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and machine learning to facilitate human communication and interaction in real-time.
There is a lot of hope for Web 3.0 in data ownership and control. Users can expect to own and control their data however they wish and could earn incentives for time spent online.
One of the major goals of this new version of the internet is to make internet searches more efficient, faster, and easier while processing complex search words quicker. To glimpse how incredible this is, today, users have to engage with web 2.0’s frontend app, which interacts with the backend and then the database.
The finished code is stored on centralized servers and transferred to consumers through web browsers. But when it comes to Web 3.0, there are no centralized web servers for backend processing or databases for app state storage.
Instead, what you have is using a blockchain to create applications that can run on decentralized servers. Anonymous nodes on the internet are responsible for maintaining these apps.
Components of Web 3.0
A recent study tried to discover how much American internet consumers have heard of web3 and what it means, and the results were a little underwhelming.
The general population’s familiarity with web3 stood at 54% of the total consumers. This shows that more than half of the consumers say they have never heard of the concept of web3 before.
While this might seem worrying for businesses already invested in the coming of web3, it is not too surprising or worrying. Web3 is still a new but highly evolving blockchain-based industry.
To understand how Web3 will benefit businesses and impact big tech firms, we must understand the components of the internet’s third version.
1. Artificial Intelligence
It is common for internet users to search for keywords on search engines and get dozens or hundreds of irrelevant results. But with AI, could things be different?
When we bring natural language processing together with artificial intelligence and Web3, businesses worldwide can leverage this superior combo. They could be giving billions of new and existing customers more relevant and faster results that they can use to make informed decisions.
The artificial intelligence of Web3 is designed to effectively understand what users are looking up and put the relevant search results in front of their screen.
2. Semantic Web
The semantic web is another component of Web 3.0, and it relies on artificial intelligence to better understand what customers or users mean/intend. This helps to improve and enhance the accuracy of the online experience.
Also, the Semantic web will improve web tech in a way that makes sharing, generating, and connecting content through a practical understanding of searches more efficient. These searches will be based on the meaning of words instead of numbers or keywords.
3. Blockchain and Crypto Tech
Blockchain technology is part of the Web3 ecosystem and is the driving force behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. It is simply a decentralized ledger system that stores data across hundreds and thousands of computers simultaneously rather than using one server.
Such an arrangement allows for more data sharing and storage and more accessibility and efficiency for users. For Web3, blockchain enhances decentralization and gives content creators greater control over their content.
There are hopes that blockchain and existing crypto tech will eliminate intermediaries and allow transactions between users and creators to flow directly. What this brings to the internet is better transparency and security.
If you add cryptocurrencies to the equation, you get an ecosystem free from the restrictions of intermediaries like financial institutions.
4. 3D Graphics and Spatial Web
The move to make a 3D representation of websites and the internet goes as far back as the 1990s, but it is now a component of Web3. Plans were shelved because that era’s graphics were too slow and primitive and could barely catch hold.
Fast forward to 2022, and the recent advances in graphics, 3D, virtual reality, and more are encouraging the creation of a real internet experience. Several industries have incorporated 3D graphics in promoting their goods and services when branding or organizing unique events.
5. Ubiquitous Connectivity
Ubiquity is another component of Web3 that makes it such an innovative tech. The internet is steadily becoming faster and internet-enabled computers more efficient. When it comes to Web3, you get ubiquitous connectivity applications because of techs like broadband, IoT, and 5G.
All of these combine to make access to information from PCs and various other devices possible. So your drones, Bluetooth devices, lamps, Roomba, smartwatches, and lamps are all linked to the internet, and you can access the services you need anywhere and anytime.
Business Benefits of Web 3.0
Stakeholders and some industry experts have a lot to say about Web3’s impact on business, but the points that always stand out are user orientation, privacy, and transparency. This could be a problem for big tech companies reluctant to move on from practices that make users have privacy, trust, and transparency doubts.
Web3 will change how these firms use users’ data, and we can thank blockchain tech for that. Since web3 is Web3-based and at the core of its ecosystem, all big tech and web apps will need to acquire a blockchain upgrade to make the switch.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom for business owners; here is what I think will be the benefits of Web3:
1. Enhanced Customer Relations
Web3 records every transaction in decentralized ledgers for all the relevant parties to see, making businesses directly accountable to their clients. Smart businesses can use this transparency to enhance long-lasting customer relationships and build trust with their customers.
Meanwhile, since the data is stored on the blockchain, it is unchangeable. Customers know that all the information is true and reliable and that the company can’t/won’t modify them.
2. Improved Compliance With Regulations
Compliance with governance has been a problem for big tech and some global businesses. Despite the level of decentralization, it is important to still maintain some legalities.s
Blockchain is an unchangeable record of all transactions that anyone on the chain can view. In Web3, it will be much easier for companies to comply with governance requirements when they maintain the high level of transparency that blockchain tech demands.
3. Higher Accountability
With the help of blockchain tech, Web3 companies will be held to higher accountability standards. Every transaction is trackable, and companies will become more accountable for their actions and inactions.
People can buy products from businesses with a high level of accountability and a great reputation.
4. Supply Chain Management
Monitoring and tracking supply chains on Web 3.0 will be easier because of the blockchain’s transparency. Businesses can identify issues in their delivery and manufacturing services when they eliminate silos. The result will be better cost and time management.
Moreover, they can also share important information like contract deadlines and production schedules with suppliers and make delivery seamless.
5. Enhanced Security
Another benefit of Web3 is its enhanced security, making it difficult for hackers to access sensitive information and use it for suspicious activities. In 2021, a record-breaking 4,145 disclosed data breaches exposed more than 22 billion records; and that figure might be more by the end of 2022.
The blockchain’s distributed, decentralized nature makes it harder to corrupt the process or system and will prevent these data breaches. You can’t manipulate or alter data, so there is little risk of data breaches or theft.
6. There Are No 3rd-Party In Transactions
Web3 will eliminate the need for third parties in transactions. Blockchain, decentralized apps (dApps), and smart contracts are expected to relegate third-party service providers completely.
A good example is how cryptocurrency transactions scarcely require banks, and transactions are typically between two parties—the buyer and the seller. It will help businesses cut costs and become more competitive and productive.
So What Does Web 3.0 Mean For Big Tech Business?
Today, every institution entrusted with distributing status, power, or money stands the risk of falling to corruption and bias, including centralized internet platforms. Users can’t trust banks and traditional financial institutions, and big tech firms like Uber and Facebook aren’t doing much to rekindle trust in big tech.
Big tech companies will need to adopt newer means of receiving payments to complete transactions in real-time, such as cryptocurrency. It becomes even more unbearable when these companies exploit network effects and laws to evade competition.
However, Web3 tech can help significantly improve the trust and transparency between big tech businesses and their clients via an alter-proof record of transactions on the blockchain.
Web 3.0’s distributed nature makes it safer and cheaper for big tech. With decentralization, an integral feature, user data isn’t stored in a single place, so it doesn’t stand the risk of data loss.
Those companies in the social network industry also need to adapt to these web3 changes to make social media significantly safer for users. They need to curtail the use of fraudulent accounts and bots, spamming, and abusive trolling, and this will help reduce trolls, scammers, and account hackers.
Meanwhile, the way big tech handles user data is about to change. Until recent times, big IT firms managed and used user-generated data. But with Web3, end-users will get total data ownership.
Also, all pieces of information that flow across networks will be encrypted, leaving big techs at the mercy of consumers. Consumers will get to decide what information they prefer to share with these companies and how much they earn.
The implication of this newfound choice that consumers have over how their data is used is the breakdown of the monopoly of big tech companies and the end of privacy intrusions. Besides, the absence of central servers will mean fewer network downtimes, which usually spells critical losses for big tech companies.
According to recent statistics, downtime can cost small companies $423 per minute, while large organizations will reportedly lose more than $9,000 every minute.
Web3 will change that. More than 400 startups that offer technologies and services linked to web 3.0 have received over $4.5 billion in funding.
These numbers show that investors may be moving away from the old version 2 of the internet and leaning towards an innovative and dynamic approach to engaging users on the internet.
The internet’s 3rd generation may be closer than we think, and it promises a lot of changes to how we use the web. Users will get decentralized content regulation, a window to the metaverse, AI processes, and the use of digital currency to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions.
While it is still in the developmental stage and new companies that are web3-reliant are only just emerging, we should all watch out for the progress of web3 as web2 begins to phase out. The opportunities are limitless and endless.