The internet is evolving all of the time. Where we once had single web pages with just a bit of text on them has now grown into large, multifunctional sites that can contain thousands of pages. But where are we heading next? What will the future of the web look like? And how will it impact how we conduct business online?
Most of the websites that you see today are considered Web 2.0 sites. They are sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Wikipedia, and Pinterest. Web 2.0 is defined as “the second stage of development of the World Wide Web, characterized especially by the change from static web pages to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social media.” These sites are complex, and offer the visitors a wide range of functions. Some sites do not even need to come up with content themselves, instead letting their users compile it, and in some cases, make money from it. For example, Sqeeqee.com’s Social Networthing is one such example of letting users generate profit in a new way. It wasn’t that long ago that making money on the internet seemed like a pipe dream. Now thanks to Web 2.0 sites like this one, it is much more achievable.
The more simple sites of the past, those with just some text on them, were considered the first generation of the web. This second generation has been around for a while now, and most sites that are developed today fit into this classification. However, just as we saw a shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, we will eventually start to see the makings of Web 3.0.
So what exactly is Web 3.0? That is hard to say. It took over 10 years for us to transition from the original web to Web 2.0, and to this day it is hard to exactly define what Web 2.0 is. Web 3.0 may come about from a change in technology, from a change in the way we interact with our devices, or from a change in how the internet is run. Some speculate that the use of artificial intelligence may be the next big breakthrough that leads to Web 3.0. For example, using social bookmarking as a search engine. Rather than using a site like Google to search, you would be getting results based on what users have rated. This factors in human intelligence into the search results, giving you a better outcome. The downside of this example is that results can be manipulated. Just as we saw the Search Engine Optimization, in an effort to get your website to rank higher, we will most likely see practices evolve to help you rank higher on these new sites as well.
As we said, this is just one example. It is hard to know what Web 3.0 will consist of until it arrives. Web 2.0 was only named after it had been established, and then we just needed something to call it. This will most likely happen with Web 3.0 as well. We will have a large amount of sites that are behaving differently than those we saw in the past, and we will need to place a label on it. One thing is for sure however. With the rate of growth in the fields of technology, Web 3.0 is not too far off. It is only a matter of time before we make another leap and start using the web in ways we had never imagined.