Web2 and Web3; What are their differences and why you should care.

7 min readMar 7, 2022

Everyone is talking about web3.0, it’s like the reigning thing now and a sort of buzz is being created about it. When trying to explain Web3.0, most people mention Web2.0 and how the internet has evolved right from Web1.0, they end up creating more confusion in the minds of their listeners as people often wonder, why is web2 different from web3 and how does this affect the current way the internet is used.

In this article, I’ll try and break down what web2 is, what web 3 is and why you as an individual should care.

The creation of the internet — Web 1

The first generation of the World Wide Web existed between 1991–2004. It was also known as the read-only web. It enabled the broadcast of information and it allowed users to search for it and read it. It mostly consisted of static web pages, and there weren’t many content creators around. Although it was revolutionary for its time, interaction and functionality were rather limited.

In Web 1.0 advertisements on websites while surfing the internet are banned.

The information era — Web 2

Web 2 refers to the web which highlights user-generated content, usability, and interworking for end users. Web 2.0 is also called the participative social web.

The current version of the Internet as we know it — is less static and more dynamic. Web2 started to become popular in 2004 when the first Web2 conference was held. The system behind it aims to actively engage users, and the content itself is more user-generated. The way we share and deliver information has been transformed with Web2 components like blogs, wikis and social media platforms. Take Facebook or Twitter as examples: users can not only read information, they can also share thoughts, perspectives and opinions by liking, sharing, tagging, tweeting etc. Undoubtedly, there is a dependency on “Big Tech” companies to provide the infrastructure and services we need — a reliance Web3 hopes to remove.

On the negative side of Web2, however, some of these big-tech firms grew into monopolistic giants that harvested their user’s data without consent. When economist Milton Friedman quipped, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” he wasn’t kidding. Big tech behemoths weren’t offering all these free Web2 platforms out of the kindness of their hearts. The hidden cost to users was ceding control of their personal data.

Users initially considered themselves to be the customer when using such Web2 inventions. In actuality, they had become the product. More specifically, their data was the product. Search histories, email topics, likes and dislikes, political and religious affiliations, sexual orientation, relationship status, health information, purchase histories of all sorts were harvested, quantified, packaged up, and sold to marketing and advertising firms. Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden would also insist that it wasn’t just private business snooping on big tech’s bountiful data harvests. But that’s a story for a different time.

Features of Web 2.0

It is also important to understand the distinctive features of web 2.0 for a precise impression of web 2.0 vs web 3.0. Here are some of the notable traits you can identify with web 2.0.

  • Web 2.0 enables free information sorting thereby enabling users to collectively retrieve and classify the information.
  • The second generation of internet services also focuses on ensuring dynamic content with high responsiveness to user inputs.
  • Web 2.0 also emphasizes evaluation and online commenting as channels for information flow between site users and site owners.
  • Web 2.0 enabled access to web content from televisions, mobile devices, multimedia consoles, and almost any internet-connected device.
  • Most important of all, web 2.0 is also referred to as a participative social web. Users could now participate in the creation and sharing of responsive content alongside presenting favourable prospects for collaboration. Therefore, one can clearly notice how web 2.0 is vital in encouraging the growth of new virtual communities.

Usage of Web 2.0

Web 2.0 applications tend to interact much more with the end-user. As such, the end-user is not only a user of the application but also a participant by these 8 tools mentioned below:

  1. Podcasting
  2. Blogging
  3. Tagging
  4. Curating with RSS
  5. Social bookmarking
  6. Social networking
  7. Social media
  8. Web content voting

Web 3.0

The Web3 phase of the internet promises to be an exciting one that will hopefully result in a power shift away from big tech to individual users.

So, if Web2 represents a frontend revolution giving a face-lift to the static webpage, then Web3 represents a backend revolution. Its decentralized networks will challenge the supremacy of behemoths such as Facebook (now Meta) and Twitter, whose servers hoard information. Decentralization could break up the power of Web2’s massive databases and create a more level playing field for users.

Computers will be able to interpret information in a way that is more similar to humans, and by using technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), users will be given more personalized content and experiences.

Features of Web 3.0

Here are some of the crucial highlights about Web 3.0 which would help in differentiating it from Web 2.0.

  • Web 3.0 leverages artificial intelligence for offering correct results at a faster pace alongside accessing real-time insights.
  • Web 3.0 also enables users to capitalize on the potential of 3D visuals and graphics.
  • Another critical feature of Web 3.0 refers to the Semantic Web functionality. It implies that Web 3.0 could support understanding the meaning of words. As a result, machines and humans could easily find, share and analyze information in web 3.0.
  • You can also find the prominent trait of improved privacy and security in Web 3.0.
  • The web 2.0 and web 3.0 differences would also focus on the safeguards for user data and identity. Web 3.0 employs advanced authorization mechanisms through distributed ledger technologies and encryption for securing user identity and data.

Potential benefits

  • With web3, the internet will become more personalized to you the user. No more irrelevant marketplace, personalized search and better communication
  • No one can block you as a user or deny you access to the service.
  • The user owns his data and information. Blockchain technology is already being used to secure financial data in the crypto space, where transactions in the ledger are stored in a permanent and verifiable way. Access to the data can be retained through encryption keys, which are independent of the service or application that generated the original data.
  • Web3 gives users the ability to connect, transact and share data privately and without relying on a third party.
  • Users will be more involved in future developments of ecosystems. As a result, the ecosystems will not have presidents or CEOs but Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) in which token owners will decide on essential changes and developments, as a collective.
  • Anyone who is on the network has permission to use the service — or in other words, permission isn’t required.
  • Users have their own digital identities and more control over their privacy.
  • Data is stored in a decentralized blockchain which means that it cannot be accessed, altered or removed by any party that gains control of the server, including corporations, governments, or hackers.

Limitations of web3

  • Scalability — transactions are slower on web3 because they’re decentralized. Changes to state, like a payment, need to be processed by a miner and propagated throughout the network.
  • UX — interacting with web3 applications can require extra steps, software, and education. This can be a hurdle to adoption. https://blockgames.gg/ and https://zuri.team/ are dedicated to training designers to solve this challenge.
  • Accessibility — the lack of integration in modern web browsers makes web3 less accessible to most users.
  • Cost — most successful dapps put very small portions of their code on the blockchain as it’s expensive.
  • Adoption: Internet users are a mixed bag, and although some will embrace the forward-thinking Web3 ideology, many are likely to be put off by its complexities — technology generally deals with change better than a human being.

Web2 vs Web3 — Decentralization

Decentralization is a core tenet of Web3, and it promises improvements on many fronts. First off, there is no central authority controlling content and imposing indiscriminate censorship. The more decentralized a platform is, the more censorship-resistant it becomes.

Web2 vs Web3 — Trustless and Permissionless

Web3 is trustless and permissionless, which means participants can interact without permission from a trusted intermediary or governing body. Applications in Web3 run on decentralized peer-to-peer networks. That’s why they’re called decentralized applications, or dApps, rather than “apps.”

Web2 vs Web3 — Greater Connectivity

With Web3, content is more connected than in the preceding eras. An increasing number of everyday devices in the “internet of things” (IoT) will be accessing multiple dApps that live on blockchains.

https://nestcoin.com/ is a web3 company that is vested in creating products that span across Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Media, Digital Art and Gaming. They’re all designed to meet users wherever they are in their crypto journey for a personalised, immersive experience.

Web3.0 is about utilizing blockchains and many other decentralized protocols, like external data oracles, storage, messaging, and digital identities. As you may already know, the values in Web3 are represented in cryptographically secured tokens.

However, the technological advancement in decentralized systems doesn’t mean that the internet will look different. An everyday internet user might not even see the difference since web3’s innovation is most noticeable at the “backend” of the internet. Therefore, you can expect to see decentralized versions of the same applications that you are currently using without significant visual differences.




Product designer for Fintech and Cryptocurrency | Actively invested in building Web 3 and the MetaVerse