Web3: What It Is and How We Got Here

We are entering a new era of technology and online interaction that is called Web3. It’s an immersive experience that is unique and also an opportunity for business owners to take advantage of and enter into.

First, it’s important to take a look back and review the Web 1 and Web 2 eras before diving into Web 3. Here you can learn all about Web 3 and what it is and how we got here, as well as how we at Pivotal New Media can help you enter the Web 3 space successfully and ways in which it can aid your business and allow you to reach your goals.


The first stage of development of the World Wide Web (WWW) was made up of simple static websites called Web1 and roughly occurred during the years 1991 to 2004. It is essentially what is known and referred to as the earliest version of the Internet. It was centered on collecting and reading information.

The difference here too is that there were a few creators and a huge amount of users who were focused on consuming content. Not only were these static pages but often personal web pages. They were hosted on free web hosting services or ISP-run web servers. It’s also important to note that advertisements within these Web1 websites were banned. Web 1 was a content delivery network (CDN) that showcased pieces of information to users through websites.


Then in 2004, Web2, on the other hand, took it a step further and included reading, writing, creating, and interacting with the end user. These were WWW websites that contained user-generated content, interoperability, and usability for the end user. There was no modification to the technical speculation and it was often called the participative social web. It was more about modifying the way web pages were used and designed.

The web became a social dialogue space where interaction and collaboration were the highlights. It’s essentially an upgraded or enhanced version of Web1. AJAX and JavaScript frameworks were the foundation of Web2 websites. The content was dynamic and responsive to user input.

As far as the usage of Web2 goes, there also became a wider range and variety of users involved with it. It was now a social web experience where people could share their personal opinions, thoughts, and perspectives. The applications had much more interaction with the end user. The end-user became not only a user of the web but a participant via podcasting, blogging, tagging, social networking, and social media, for example. 

Web3: What is it?

The third generation of the WWW is now called Web3. While it’s still a work in progress, it is a vision of a decentralized web. It’s not only about reading and writing but also about owning. It includes modifying the web and turning it into a database. There’s also integration of Distributed Ledger Technology blockchain and the ability to create Smart Contracts that are dependent upon the needs of the individual.

The term itself is used to depict several evolutions of web users as well as interaction across many different paths. The data here is shared instead of owned. The goal of it is to present the world’s information in a more sensible way versus Google’s existing engine schema, for instance. This holds true based on the machine concept of Web3 instead of solely on human understanding. There are a few primary features that make up and define Web3. These are as follows:

·         Artificial Intelligence / Big Data

·         Digital Identity

·         3D Graphics

·         Semantic Web

·         Ubiquity

·         Connectivity

·         DLT and Smart Contracts

·         Metaverse

How We Got Here

Another matter to address is now that Web3 is here and being developed, how did we get here? It’s an idea that’s centered on blockchain technology and a decentralization concept. Well, it all started back in 1969 when ARPnet (Advanced Research Project) was launched by the United States military during the cold war. A network, or Network Control Protocol, was created to protect the flow of information between military installations in which information was exchanged via this technology.

From the five major networks involved Transfer Control Protocol and Internet Protocol were born. Next, Web1 emerged in 1986 and in 1990 the ARPnet was shut down entirely. With that came Web2 around 2004, and here we are today talking about Web3. There are some key aspects to know as a business owner or developer before jumping right into Web3.

Why Web3?

You may be also thinking to yourself, why Web3, and what’s so great about it? Not only have rights been controlled online in past years but there’s also been an intrusion of privacy, with little intervention from the government. What users are doing daily is worth a lot of money. The tech giants recognized this and took advantage of it through online advertising. Through the integration of smart contracts, blockchain, and native tokens, Web3 is looking to put a stop to all of this. Not only is privacy going to be the main concern now but also users can monetize their own activity on the web and get paid their worth.   


The most important difference to note with Web3 is that the ownership of data on the Internet is now going to be decentralized. Many would call it a disruptive technological revolution. There are a wide range of applications involved including search, entertainment, social networking, e-commerce, and finance and banking. The selling points then become that it’s user-owned and is an anti-monopoly and anti-platform solution.

An initial application of blockchain technology is cryptocurrencies. Out of the Bitcoin system, blockchain was born. It’s all based on trust and security and has a foundation of a reliable “cooperation” mechanism. The reason blockchain technology is relevant and necessary for the discussion is that the infrastructure of Web3.0 is based on it. So, what is NFT? It’s a non-fungible token that is a digital asset that carries value due to its uniqueness. There are many options with NFTs and how you can use them such as keeping them, transferring them, selling them, lending them, or mortgaging them. There are no intermediaries to rely on so you can freely sell your works and talents and make money.

Another term you should become familiar with is DAO or Decentralized Autonomous Organization. This is built around transparency and inclusiveness and is a new organization governance model. The organization is a community that has participation members and is managed overall by the consensus of members.

What is the Metaverse?

It’s also important to understand in greater detail what the metaverse is and why it matters. Some might say it’s the future of the Internet or even similar to that of a video game. The reality is that the term isn’t quite clear and hasn’t become much clearer. However, right now it is still being built. There is a lot of marketing and money wrapped up in selling the idea and getting companies and brands to become part of it.

Consider cyberspace where there becomes a shift in how we interact with technology and each other. It includes virtual reality and these worlds will exist even when you’re not in them. It also involves NFTs where these tokens serve as a certificate of ownership over digital items.


You now should have a solid understanding of what Web1, 2, and 3 are and how we got here. It certainly didn’t happen overnight and Web3 and the metaverse continue to be worked on and developed daily. While there’s still a lot of uncertainty about where we’re heading, one fact that is certain is that the Internet, web, and technology are continuously changing and evolving. It’s better to get on board and educate yourself now than to be a few steps behind and try to play catch up. That’s where we enter the equation, so please reach out to our team with questions and to set up a consultation

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