In the area of blockchain, you must have heard of the concepts of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 many times. But what do Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 mean? What makes the transition to Web 3.0 so inevitable?
Web 2.0 and Web 3.0
For a better understanding of the meaning of Web 2.0, first, it is necessary to go back to the time when Web 1.0 was born. In this phase, web pages are static pages (Static Web) - where content is served from the server's file system. What's more, these pages are non-interactive. You cannot react to posts with comments or likes. Instead, you are just passively receiving information.
The web in this day has a very rudimentary interface. For example, developers used frames and tables to position and align elements on a page because CSS didn't exist.
These websites can be social networks, blogs, podcasting, or e-commerce webs – Web 2.0 is completely interactive. We interact with the web and with each other through comments, and we can easily attach additional content such as images and sounds to many others. Some of the famous Web 2.0 applications can be mentioned as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Google. That is why this age of the web is also known as the “Social Network” age.
Web 3.0 is the third web generation. Instead of only searching for content based on keywords or numbers, we can use AI to understand the semantics of content on the web. That will allow machines to understand and interpret information like humans (instead of following patterns like normal machines). The primary purpose of the Semantic Web is to enable users to more easily find, share, and combine information.
Today, however, the term Web 3.0 is broader: data will be interconnected in a decentralized way. That would be a huge step up from the current internet generation (Web 2.0), where data is mainly stored in centralized repositories. Furthermore, users and machines will be able to interact with the data. But to do this, programs need to understand information both conceptually and in context. With this in mind, Web 3.0 has two platforms: semantic web, artificial intelligence, and of course, blockchain.
Compare Web 2.0 to Web 3.0
With Web 2.0, users' data is stored in bulk on centralized servers, and Google, Facebook, and Twitter are the custodians. As a result, users have had to sacrifice information security for the convenience of these services. Whether they know it or not, their identity, browsing habits, searches, chats, and online shopping information have been sold to a third party.
Meanwhile, Web 3.0 allows connecting devices through a decentralized network instead of a centralized database on servers. With this phase, Web 3.0 exhibits the following characteristics:
- No third-party intermediaries
- Ensure data privacy and security
- Service without interruption
Application transition from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0
It seems that this transition is quite easy when just applying blockchain to each application. But behind that, the way to connect users to digital services is markedly different. Transactions must be signed and verified manually to prevent platforms from taking away personal information. For the transformation to occur, Web 2.0-based applications need to have corresponding replacement products on Web 3.0 platforms to serve users' activities.
- Instead of using operating systems like iOS and Android, frameworks like Essentia and EOS provide a new gateway to the web.
- To store folders and files, instead of Google Drive or Dropbox, we have services like Storj, Siacoin, Filecoin, or IPFS technology to distribute and store files.
- For video calling, instead of Skype, we have platforms like Experty.io.
- To send messages, instead of WhatsApp and WeChat, we have Status.
- Akasha or Steemit would play the role of Facebook, the Brave browser would act as Chrome, and Ethlance could take over Upwork.
Here are some detailed side-by-side comparisons of apps from the two generations to show how the transition has impacted.
Brave vs. Chrome
Both Brave and Chrome are Chromium-based web browsers. While Chrome adds some proprietary elements to make it more powerful, Brave is an open-source web browser that reinforces privacy and security.
Unlike Chrome, Brave blocks third-party ads and cookies by default. Brave also limits the amount of data Facebook, Google, and other ad networks can collect about browsing habits.
Brave stores all browsing data locally on the computer, and users can delete all that data at any time. In addition, Brave also supports Tor browsing, making it the first all-in-one web browser to do so.
In terms of security, Brave automatically encrypts website connections when possible (on Chrome, this only happens with extensions like HTTPS Everywhere).
Brave's limitation lies in the user experience. While Chrome and its extensions use users' data to help them browse the web better, Brave secures user data. In addition, it is quite inconvenient to be able to sync Brave on many different devices. Brave now supports almost all Chrome extensions.
In general, if you don't need to visit unusual websites, it might be fine to use Chrome. And if you're a privacy enthusiast, Brave will be a better choice.
IPFS vs. Google Drive
Google Drive is currently one of the leading free storage tools provided by Google. However, data stored on Google Drive is dependent on Google's servers, so the privacy and availability of data cannot be fully guaranteed as hackers can attack this server.
Meanwhile, IPFS - InterPlanetary File System is a content and identity-based data distribution protocol that allows users to share files peer-to-peer without physical presence. The content the user uploads will be hashed and generated as a code. The same content will always give the same hashes, thereby eliminating duplication by IPFS. Content when a node shares will be broken into pieces, they will be delivered to the nodes near it in the network. Having content stored in different nodes nearby will make them download faster, save bandwidth and ensure data availability even if one or more nodes are attacked.
With a different way of working, IFPS used a decentralized network of nodes, thus eliminating the need for many docking stations and Internet servers, resulting in a marked reduction in overall costs.
Experty.io vs. Skype
Experty is a voice and video application that allows experts in their field to monetize their time and knowledge on the Ethereum Blockchain. That is an application where the payment is automated through a smart contract, which allows monetizing voice/video calls with no upfront payment.
Similar to Skype, people can exchange information through video calls. However, with experts providing fee-based consultations, Experty's payment method shows more efficiency. Experty will allow information sellers and knowledge buyers through video calls, and the transaction amount in exchange for information is determined by the time of the call, and that transaction will not go through any bank between the seller and the buyer.
Essentia.one vs. Android
Essentia.one is a system for creating, storing, accessing, and operating other decentralized applications. It gives users full ownership and control over their identities, data, wallets, and assets. In addition, they can join DApps and decentralized web browsing easily from anywhere and on any device.
Unlike Android or iOS, you don't need to re-enter passwords, back up, and change devices to access your decentralized and centralized accounts. Having a seed gives you instant access to all your important personal and business logins.
Steemit vs. Facebook
Steemit is a Blockchain web application that pays users to write, participate, and explore. It is a new technology with a lot of potential for social network users. Unlike Facebook, Steemit's business model allows content creators/bloggers to make money while building a community.
On Facebook, users' posts will be moderated by the community and the censorship agencies. While Steemit is built on top of Blockchain technology, the community is censorship-free, although it can still allow third-party applications to use its technology.
Steem Power - a token that acts as a measure of voting power in the Steemit social media platform. The platform is transparent and open-source, so people can ensure that their information remains immune to manipulation. The underlying blockchain technology that powers Steem sees it as setting the pace of social media in the blockchain age. Steemit is unique in that it allows users to earn money by:
- Post articles
- Support content
- Comments on articles
Facebook is free, but users always collect personal data to monetize ads and sell user information on this social network.
Status vs. WhatsApp
While Telegram and WhatsApp are popular choices, both instant messaging apps are web 2.0 based, posing major security challenges. To overcome this security hole, Status integrated cutting-edge blockchain technology with instant messaging.
Based on web 3.0 and built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, Status is pioneering a new era of decentralized instant messaging by enabling peer-to-peer, end-to-end encrypted communication instead of the usual server-client. In addition, it promotes secure messaging by giving users full control over their information and providing the option of pseudo-anonymity.
Web 1.0 is the readable phase of the web. We see limited interaction between users. Web 2.0 was the web's writable phase, a stage where users could interact with the web and interact with each other. Web 3.0 is the operable stage of the web. Here, computers can interpret information like humans and create personalized content for each user.
Simultaneously with the technology transition from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 is the transformation of applications that allow use on those technology platforms.
 What do Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 mean? Why Web3 Is The Internet Of The Future?, Codluck.com, accessed April 10th, 2022.
 Web 2.0 is Broken. It’s Time for a New Paradigm Shift, Essentia 1, accessed April 10th, 2022.
 Das, A., Brave vs. Google Chrome: Which is the better browser for you?, accessed 10th, 2022.
 Okorafor, D., Telegram Vs Whatsapp Vs Status – Which Is Best?, accessed April 10th, 2022.
 Introducing Essentia.one: The Framework For Your Decentralized Digital Life, bitcoinist.com, accessed 10th April 10th, 2022.