World Wide Web has evolved so fast that there seems to be some confusion about its evolution, and eras of its development. A consensus has again evolved which has divided the development of the World Wide Web into three eras which are known as Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3. As the Internet has no master and its growth and expansion has been done by researchers and advancement of technologies, no individual or firm can lay claim to its evolution.

Beginnings of the Internet

The period of the Internet before 1999 is referred to Web 1.0 and there were just 45 million global users. This era is termed as ‘the read only web’. Large businesses geared themselves up in getting their websites developed, and hosting them on the Internet. Internet users were limited to seeing what companies had to offer, but they could not post their comments on it. E-mail and file transfer facilities were there, but again their usage and flexibility was limited. Only text mails could be written and sent, and you could not upload and attach images or pictures. The websites were largely static and animations, video embedding was unheard of. People could receive and view information but could not freely distribute information. The Web 1.0 era was focused on companies.

Users interaction era

The Web 2.0 era is the post 1999 era and is still continuing. In 2006 there were over 1 billion Internet users worldwide, and the number is still growing. This era has been termed as ‘the read-write web’. The focus of this era shifted from companies, to communities. People were no longer idle bystanders who could only view what companies wanted them to see. Freelancers, individuals, small businesses and everyone who had an interest in the Internet had their websites launched. People were now able to communicate freely on the web. The launching of blogs forced companies to allow posting of comments via blogs on their websites. Another major development was the easy exchange of music and video clips. The use of multimedia was a real turning point in Web 2.0. Search engine browsers had to grow smarter, and become capable of handling large number of users simultaneously. Another major development in Web 2.0 was the capability of voice communication via the Internet. People were no longer restricted to using telephones for voice communication. The latest and growing development of Web 2.0 has been the evolution of social media networks. Today, nearly every Internet user has opened an account on a social media network.

Semantic web evolution

Web 3.0 will be about semantics, which will make searching on the Internet easier. Now when we start entering a keyword in Google, it shows suggested words saving us from typing entire sentences. What is expected to happen in Web 3.0 is that your common searches will be stored somewhere and you won’t have to renter common searches repeatedly. Of course linking databases, using new technologies will play a major role in the Web 3.0 era.

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One Response to “Difference between Web 1.0, Web 2.0, & Web 3.0”

  1. Eugenio says:

    Hi there,
    Great article! Will Web 3.0 be more Cloud and location-based oriented?