Updated: Mar 6
There's been a lot of excitement in technology over the last few years with a future that seems dreamlike with real-life implications to come. Since Mark Zuckerberg announced back in October of 2021, the Metaverse is a integrative virtual reality that allows users to feel present in a completely digitized world.
Since then, a lot of the current conversation of technological trends has led to the discussion of what the next phase of the internet will look like. The internet being part of the Web 3.0 world.
What Is Web 3.0?
Back in the 90s, Web 1.0 was all text on static screens which allowed people to find stuff on the internet & do either a lot of reading or shopping. That idea was cool, but limited to a select few who has access to the technology at the time. In short, it was a little boring back then before more coding features were developed.
Web 2.0 in the 2000s was when a lot of tech companies like Google, Meta (formerly Facebook), Apple, Amazon, Netflix, & many others were able to dig into the blue ocean of being consumers a more interactive, visual, & personal online experience. Those are some of the biggest companies in the world; but when consumer data is commoditized & sold to the highest bidding advertiser, a lot of scrutiny over privacy can unfold.
The idea behind Web 3.0 is to create a new internet that will provide an open and decentralized platform for computing & online interactions. This will allow people to take control of their digital lives and make their own decisions without third-party companies butting in & affecting how people live their lives.
“Web 3.0 will bring us a fairer internet by enabling the individual to be a sovereign. True sovereignty implies owning and being able to control who profits from one’s time and information. Web 3.0’s decentralized blockchain protocol will enable individuals to connect to an internet where they can own and be properly compensated for their time and data” - Forbes, What is Web 3.0.
The technologies that make up Web 3.0 are still in their infancy and there are many challenges to overcome before they can be adopted by the masses. Businesses that wish to succeed in this new world must have a solid understanding of how it works and how they can market successfully through its adoption.
History Of Web 3.0
Web 3.0 is the newest generation of web-based technologies. The term "Web 3.0" was first coined by Gavin Wood, to denote a world that is no longer dependent on centralized, hierarchical organizations and institutions, or the old print-based way of exchanging information.
Web 3.0 was really the call to action to address the issues of Web 2.0 with a handful of companies owning the vast amount of data of users. Web 3.0 aims to solve this issue by allowing users to be the owners of their own data & being able to leverage it themselves.
For instance, there is a browser called the Brave browser which rewards users who agree to see pop-up ads in crypto (Basic Attention Tokens). Odysee is a video streaming platform that lets users upload videos in exchange for being rewarded in crypto in much higher proportions than if they were to participate in Google AdSense.
A lot of Web 3.0 technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, virtual assistants & blockchain have already been used & developed by many other companies. However, these technologies are not perfect & are being developed more & more before entering mass market adoption.
The real meat & potatoes of this article is to explore how current businesses with an online presence can leverage the rise of Web 3.0 to take market share in this blue ocean.
Financial Data Tracking - often business have to track their cash flows & hope mistakes aren't made or worse - manipulated. However, with blockchain technology tracking everything in an accessible & verifiable lodger, will save businesses a lot of resources from errors or tempering.
The Speed Of Data - any company that has to make filings such as car manufacturers, financial institutions, e-commerce platforms, doctors, & even insurance firms would benefit from using blockchain. Traditional servers would have delays between systems whereas an interconnected blockchain system will reduce time gaps when submitting information. This allows for claims or files to be transferred faster & save companies & consumers time.
Integrated Functionality - sometimes companies have to manage multiplie software accounts in order to run their business. Sometimes this is a pain in the butt because rather than everything being on one platform, it's annoying to have to navigate across different systems with different user experiences. However, with integrated functionality, businesses can run functions in one application which can signal to other apps to function thereafter.
Digital Wallets - with more access to currencies, the more likely a company is to be paid via the currency of the choice by the user. This can allow funds to be transferred quicker than traditional methods & allows more users to readily pay for products/services on the spot.
Virtual Assistants - the first thing that should come to mind would be tools like Siri or Alexa, which are used by Apple & Amazon respectively. Their AI features & interactivity with users allows them to be used for purposes in response to voice command to search for information or process business requests (Hey Siri, can you call John Doe for me?)
NFTs - this can be a little complicated to those whose concepts escape. However, with the power of smart contracts & creativity, it is possible to attach a conditional value to an NFT if it is tied to the competency of a business. For instance, let's say you buy an NFT from a marketing agency & they have to do do services for you to fulfill contractual obligations & to prove the value of the NFT. The NFT holder can then sell the NFT (also the rights to the services of the marketing business) to someone else & now they are entitled to the rights of services or conditions. What can make this more lucrative for the original NFT holders, is if there are royalties for every time the NFT is sold. The NFT will only hold value if the marketing agency delivers on its services. But the potential for conditions for NFT holders is limitless.
Metaverse/Virtual Reality- the last Web 3.0 application that will be relevant to businesses is engaging & interacting in the Metaverse. Although this is a long-ways away, this is something for businesses to consider if they want to get attention from those who are active in the Metaverse community.
The full adaption of Web 3.0 is a long ways away at the time of the writing of this article, especially with regulatory heads eyeing the technology industry closely with ethical considerations.
However, it's going to be a big curve for many other businesses to get on-top of in order to be successful in the future. A lot of companies like IBM or Cisco during the Web 1.0 era did not embrace Web 2.0 the same way that Amazon did & kept them stagnating since the 90s.
One thing every marketer & business can do right now is be aware of the various websites, tools, & applications that are rumored or already available in the market. Doing so, can help keep you ahead of your competition.
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