Web3 (or Web 3.0) is the next phase in the evolution of the web. For the past 15 years, what has held sway is web 2.0, which came as a replacement to web 1.0, the first web founded back in the early 1990s. Web 2.0 brought us social media, user-generated content, and other advanced information technologies which provide seamless communication possibilities, removing the limitations of web 1.0, otherwise referred to as "static web."
However, this breakthrough has long been criticized for monopoly, surveillance, and over-regulation by the big tech companies. Some industry experts claim - what the larger society needs now and in the future is a decentralized web operating framework void of monopoly and constant surveillance. Interestingly, the blockchain technology on which Web 3.0 is based, has the answer to this.
From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and further ahead
Web 1.0 was the "read-only" web where content creation was limited to just a few people with little to no room for interaction with the content. Web 1.0 is usually referred to as the "static" or "read-only" web because people only consume it instead of creating. Web 1.0 spans from the late 1980s to around 2005.
Web 2.0 started around 2006 and is largely in use today. It is the follow-up to Web 1.0. With Web 2.0, almost everyone is a content creator. Think YouTube, blogging, and the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, where anyone and everyone can create and interact with content.
The big problem, however, is that with heavy reliance on the big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, etc. services come the issue of monopoly, centralization of information, data tracking, hence making the freedom that comes with free content creation and interaction more of a façade. This is because the big techs all have the power, technically, since people rely on their platforms to create and share content, giving up personal information and data in the process.
What is Web 3.0?
Gavin Wood, Ethereum founder, and Web 3.0 pioneer envisions Web 3.0 as the next phase of the web, which promises a better digital economy backed with decentralization.
'“Web3” as we think of it today was introduced in 2014 by @gavofyork, one of the cocreators of Ethereum (& founder of W3F, @Polkadot, @kusamanetwork & @ParityTech). Wood’s compact definition of Web3, as he put it in a recent Wired interview, is simple: “Less trust, more truth.”' https://t.co/6ILAd3SBpu
— Web3 Foundation (@Web3foundation) December 17, 2021
Web 3.0 is a follow-up to Web 2.0 and is essentially the "decentralized web" where the power that the big tech corporations presently hold would be distributed to everybody. Web 3.0 is decentralized and backed by blockchain and cryptocurrency frameworks like bitcoin and ethereum. Being a decentralized platform removes the need to trust anyone or a single entity. Trust, of course, is not needed because of the consensus protocols that exist on blockchains that are all hard-coded.
— The Verge (@verge) April 13, 2021
Besides, Web 3.0 features the easy transfer of money and removes reliance on banks, payment processors, and transfer services like PayPal. With Web 3.0, banks are replaced with wallets only accessible by private keys owned by users, while payment processing and transfer services are replaced with cryptocurrencies on blockchains. Thus, transactions would no longer be restricted by location, and the fear of releasing private information would be removed.
Web 3.0 enables permissionless instant and global transactions. A recent innovation with Web 3.0 is decentralized finance (DeFi), where users can lend and borrow wealth in cryptocurrencies on platforms like ethereum using smart contracts.
Web 3.0 and brands: The potential ahead
Web 3.0 holds a lot for brands and the future. One area of impact is the verification and authenticity of digital transactions.
Verification and authenticity of digital assets are a big deal to brands, which will be possible with Web 3.0. Besides, Web 3.0 will allow brands to track their digital assets as they traverse the web easily. It is projected that smart contract tech will become better infused with NFT in the foreseeable future. This will form the mainstay of digital transactions, thereby strengthening security, removing monopoly, and enhancing the authenticity of digital transactions.
Some brands are already keying into this. Take Topps, for instance, the "collectibles" brand already into NTFS and the potentials of Web 3.0.
Sometime in April 2021, Topps launched NFT baseball cards or packs. The brand also launched an online marketplace to ease transactions on the secondary market.
The challenge with systems like this has been security and the possibility of counterfeiting, but the NFT cards are now hosted on the blockchain of Web 3.0, thus removing the fear of theft or counterfeiting. Besides, the Web 3.0 framework has been configured to introduce Card scarcity, instant verification of funds, and automatic swapping of assets during inter-collector card purchases. With this, the possibility of hacking is zero.
Another area of impact of Web 3.0 is the creation of new businesses with advancements in the Metaverse, the digital version of the universe where users could buy digital real estate, develop and transact digital assets.
Prominent brands that are already looking into this direction include tech companies like Decentraland, The Sandbox, Facebook (with Meta), Cryptovoxels, to mention but a few.
For instance, as a brand, you can buy plots of land on The Sandbox and develop entertainment real estate on them, just like what the brand Atari is currently doing. This is your opportunity to claim a stake in the potentials of the Metaverse, which of course, would unleash the power of Web 3.0.
Going from building an international strong community, to beautiful art, to buying LAND IN THE METAVERSE and to being neighbours with @atari. This is the @bulltangclan! We all acknowledge that we are early in the NFT industry and it’s not too late for you to join us! #NFTs pic.twitter.com/VfprXoLX0p
— Sauce!! (@Saucee143) January 10, 2022
Like Atari, you could launch and market your digital wearables, a blockchain for your brand, and sell tokens. The best time to come in and earn a stake in Web 3.0 is now.
What does this mean for advertisers?
No doubt Web 3.0 is user-focused and is promising to improve the user experience by delivering valuable and engaging advertising options. This is a plus for marketers and brands because they will be able to target their adverts more precisely and get more value on ad expenses.
Marketers will be able to develop a more effective plan and promote their brands using Web 3.0. They'd have access to a wealth of data that might influence consumers purchasing decisions.
With Web 3.0 innovative user-focused solution, marketers and brands will have access to a new system of advertising and marketing innovation.
Still, because of the operational mechanism of Web 3.0 leveraging blockchain and distributed ledger technology, marketers will be unable to capture consumer data without due authorization. Web users will solely own their data and have the right to access the data. Third-parties including marketers will need to obtain formal consent to make use of consumer data.
Web 3.0 would be powered by machine learning and coupled with the growing adoption of artificial intelligent applications, users will have more control over the information provided to them from digital news platforms.
This will have an influence on advertising since customers will be able to block content they don’t trust. For brands, this means that the quality of their products should take precedence over the branding and slogans devised by marketing organizations.
With Web 3.0 we are transiting from the era of great ads to great deliverables, so the quality of your offer and product would matter more.
From the ongoing, what does Web 3.0 hold for the world of digital advertising? Web 3.0 will be influenced by privacy standards. With lesser access to user data, a monumental shift to ad services capabilities and budget for social media and ad networks is likely to happen.
Since its inception, Smartyads has always been on top of ad tech innovations ensuring that we provide better services by clinging to the best standards (including privacy ones like GDPR and CCPA). Recently we’ve become a TCF member so we are geared up for a privacy-driven and data-secure future.