What is Web1, Web2 and Web3? How Does It Work?
Web 3.0 is the next generation of the Internet, which relies on the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to create open, interconnected, and intelligent websites and applications.
The original Internet was invented in the 1970s by the US government to protect its nuclear weapons from hacking.
They realized a single computer controlling all the rockets at the peak Cold War was a recipe for disaster. So they built a decentralized network of multiple computers instead.
What is Web1?
In 1990, the Internet was a bunch of connected computers. The Web was its first application, created by Tim Berners-Lee.
Web1 was designed as a "hyperlinked information system." A giant library of data sourced together on a screen from computers all across the network for users to browse by clicking around linked text and images.
30 years later, three billion users are connected to a much bigger, faster, and more ubiquitous Web, powered by monstrous data centers. The clicking around has remained largely the same.
In its early days, the Web was a niche tool, used almost exclusively by academics. Mass adoption came five years later with the introduction of browsers like Mosaic and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
These were the good old surfing days. You'd dial in. Downloading a picture took years. Altavista was the default search engine. Nobody had thought of web design yet.
- Decentralized — Powered by regular computers from regular users.
- Open-source — Anyone could build on the Web.
- Read-only — Publishing content required some technical skills, so most users were readers.
Web1's decentralized infrastructure symbolized its original ethos. Anyone could publish information of any kind, to anyone in the world, without the permission of central gatekeepers.
What is Web2?
Fast-forward 10 years, the Wild West had grouped around winners like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, pulling in huge numbers of users and talent black-hole style.
For the first time, anyone could publish online. As barriers faded, users and usage surged. The Internet had something for everyone.
1. Centralized. For the average person, the Internet is now limited to 4-5 social sites such as Instagram and YouTube, etc, on which he/she spends all day, and it is very hard to drag him somewhere else because all the social history and experience are accumulated in a particular platform. Even physically most of the clouds are owned by three corporations (Amazon, Microsoft, and Google), which becomes apparent to everyone when one AWS server goes down, followed by half of the Internet. For example, there are several startups from Web3 developing today that are positioning themselves as decentralized cloud computing (Super Protocol, Golem).
2. Based on platforms. Internet = social networks. From now on. Keeping your own email server today is a very strange idea. But the threshold of entry into everything has become almost zero. But if a person gets banned from a platform, it's basically social death.
3. Closed. Platforms quickly realized that personal data in the age of Web2 is the new oil, so it could not be shared in any way. For free at least. Does everyone remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal? and so-called ecosystems emerged, where corporations try to extract as much data as possible from the user.
In the backend, three big shifts shaped Web2 as we know it today:
- Mobile — Smartphones move us from a few hours per day at our desktops to "always connected". Apps and notifications rule our lives.
- Social — Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook get us to show our faces and emerge from anonymity. They make it easy to create, share, interact and recommend. We go from sharing photos with friends to getting into strangers' cars.
- Cloud — Amazon, Google, and Microsoft make it cheap to build on the Web. Instead of having to buy and maintain expensive hardware infrastructure, you can now rent it low-cost from vast data centers around the world.
The Internet has become centralized. It's essentially a bunch of closed systems interacting with each other.
What is Web3?
web3.js is a collection of libraries that allow you to interact with a local or remote Ethereum node, using an HTTP or IPC connection.
Web3 itself is not used for anything. Web3 is the name for a new generation of technologies, and application platforms that aim to give more freedom to users. Also, web3 aims to transfer power on the Internet to users through the use of technologies that allow the creation of decentralized platforms. Take Social, for example, it's a decentralized web3 social network that doesn't use censorship, doesn't sell ads, and doesn't moderate user content. Social transfers the functions of moderation and censorship to users who, using the reporting system, can moderate any content. These are the possibilities that web3 opens up for us and this is what it is used for.