Web2 and the new wave of Web3 startups: What’s the inspiring difference?

Web3 represents the next phase and there are many Web3 startup companies evolving to support the growing creator economy landscape. Web2 and Web3 are titles given to the successive phases of the internet. Starting with the original Web1 of the 1990s and early 2000s. Web2 is the current version of the internet (often used interchangeably with the internet) that we are all familiar with.

This article will discuss the development of the internet and web communications, specifically the differences between Web2 and Web3.

About Web2 and Web3

Web2 is the second stage in the development of the internet. It’s a network that values ​​user-generated content, site usability, and interoperability. The internet is becoming a hub of online tools and platforms where people share their views, opinions, thoughts, and experiences. Web2 allowed for the development of services such as:

  • Podcasts
  • Blogs
  • Curating with RSS
  • Social networks

At this stage of the development of the internet, web browser technologies, such as AJAX and JavaScript frameworks, are used in website development. It was these frameworks that were the most popular among developers. Interest in the Ruby on Rails programming language also grew. You can characterize Web2 like this  — AJAX, tag optimization, front-end innovations.

Key features of the Web2 period:

  • Free access to a large amount of information, allowing users to receive and classify information collectively
  • Appearance of dynamic site content that responds to user input
  • Changes to the way information is shared between the site owner and site users
  • The emergence of APIs that allow you to use site information using software
  • Negative impact on society and newly created threats

Web2 is defined by the ability to provide content and interact with other internet users. It has dramatically changed the perception of the internet in a short time. A prime example of Web2 development is YouTube, which has relied (and continues to rely on) on user-generated content.

Web3 is the result of internet use over time, creator economy trends, and the evolution of interactions within it. In this phase, the internet will become a database. The data will not be owned by specific organizations or individuals but shared between users. This stage of the development of the internet is also called the Semantic Web.

Putting anything on the network does not require permission from a central authority, there is no central control node and, therefore, no single point of failure… and no ‘kill switch’! It also implies freedom from indiscriminate censorship and surveillance.”

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web

Learn more about Web3 startups, the rise of the creator economy, and its history in our recent blog post.

What are the main differences between Web3 startups and Web2?

Semantics

Web2’s most crucial features are social interactions and connectivity. Web3 is associated with semantic markup and web services. Semantic markup helps to describe an element, in addition to defining its appearance. This helps in finding other matching elements based on similar attributes. The use of semantics is geared toward easier searching than Web2. Now you can enter a keyword in Google search, and it will expertly suggest related words.

Participation

Web2 is governed by a small set of technology giants such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). Their data centers run the sites and apps we use every day: Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, Reddit, Netflix, and so on. Web3 is decentralized thanks to applied blockchain architecture. Any company can be a network of interested parties. Each of them participates in the process based on certain conditions.

Web2 has a social nature and focuses on targeting collective power. Web3 reaches individuals by understanding their needs and preferences to deliver tailored experiences and support the content creator economy.

Technologies

Web2 is two-dimensional. Even in VR, the assets are rendered as 2D objects. Web3 is a mix of 2D and 3D worlds. It uses immersive realities to produce an enriched user experience. Moreover, Web3 can be accessed from various devices, not only phones and computers.

Web2 is the writable phase. Web3 is the executable one. The first generation (Web1) only allowed for reading the information presented on a web page without any interactivity. The second generation allowed for a wide range of interactions. Web3 goes further and is expected to be the executable phase of the internet with AI and ML, enabling machine-to-machine interactions to find resources according to user needs.

Web2 uses web apps. Web3 relies on decentralized applications (dApps) and web deploy 3.0. They are built on blockchain platforms like Ethereum so that there is no single company in control.

Ownership

Web2 is a combination of open-source and proprietary code. Web3 is 100% open-source. It allows for transparency, accountability, and more responsible development. Any user will be able to inspect the code of a dApp to check it for misuse and anomalies.

CriteriaWeb2Web3
DefinitionThe second generation of the internet focuses on social interactionsThe third generation of the internet focuses on decentralization and semantic learning
FocusCommunity developmentIndividual users
TechnologiesAJAX, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3AIML Decentralized protocols
Types of applicationsWeb appsDecentralized apps (dApps)
State of dataThe network owns the dataEntities own the data
FeaturesImproved interaction with web applicationsA mix of web technology and knowledge representationdApps
Web2 & Web3 comparison

Summary of our Web3 startup discussion

We’ve already begun to experience the advantages that Web3 has over Web2. It provides the infrastructure needed for improved interactions between humans and machines. Web3 provides better security, trust, and privacy. On the other hand, Web2 is still the common foundation for many of the web applications we use today. So can Web3 replace Web2? Yes. But not yet. Web3 startups are still in their infancy and will take a few more years to reach their full potential, but the creator economy landscape will undoubtedly push the development speed of blockchain business ideas and companies.

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