The Difference Between Web1, Web2, and Web3

Web 1.0 : Read Only Web

Web 1.0 consisted of the earliest websites that provided static information. During that time, the Yellow Pages began to digitize and businesses started publishing information online. More complex Web 1.0 websites resembled print materials, such as encyclopedias. Editors publish information that could only be read by an audience. The term Web 1.0 refers to the “read-only web.”

Web 2.0: Read-Write Web

Web 2.0, also known as the “read-write web,” emerged in the 1990s. This era saw the rise of blogs and social media platforms. Regular people gained the ability to create and share their own content online. Platforms such as MySpace, Blogger, Xanga, YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud launched. They facilitated the easy creation and sharing of content. Terms such as “content creator” and “influencer” became popular. The public widely adopted mainstream social media platforms like Instagram.

Web 3.0: User-Owned Web

Web 3.0 allows users to own the content they create. Since Web 2.0, people had the ability to create, but they did not technically own the content. Platforms such as social media networks owned all the content they host. Web 3.0 aims to address this by providing a verifiable chain of ownership. It allows for the tracking and verification of original creations through the use of a technology called the blockchain. Bitcoin became the first successful application of this technology in 2009. However, it was popularized by NFTs between 2017 and 2021. The blockchain can authenticate and verify digital assets, such as funds, artwork, and collectibles.

Web 2.5: Hybrid Web

Web2.5 refers to the transition to the decentralized, Web 3.0. In theory, Web 3.0 has no CEO or headquarters. Bitcoin is a good example of this, but applications that are more complex than a cryptocurrency often relies on certain centrally controlled services such as web hosting, or marketplaces that facilitate trades and sales.