We use the web for just about everything. From searching for nearby restaurants to connecting with friends and family through social networks to searching for products and services with ease. The evolution of the web has taken the world by storm and none of us could have anticipated how quickly it has transformed our daily lives.

In this article, we’ll cover the different phases of the web from 1.0 to 3.0, highlighting where we are now and where we’re headed in the near future. We’ll also share Web 3.0 predictions and hot takes from our in-house experts so you can be prepared for what’s to come. 

Phases of the Web

There have been a variety of web iterations and the first to come about during the 90s was Web 1.0. Today, Web 1.0 is often referred to as the “read-only web” or the “static web.” It was a great resource to gather information quickly on a desktop, but there was no real chance to react or interact with the pages. Enter: Web 2.0. 

As technology became more advanced and sophisticated, Web 2.0 was born. At the start of Web 2.0, the current iteration we live in today, we saw the creation of dynamic websites that users can not only interact with, but where they can also create and share their own content. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter (just to name a few) are all great examples of Web 2.0 that many of us know, love, and use today. 

As we all know, the only constant is change, and with that comes an even newer phase of the web – Web 3.0. This new generation of the internet aims to be decentralized, giving users more control of their personal data. 

“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

Web 3.0 is reported to include a variety of elements beyond decentralization including NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), virtual worlds (ie: the metaverse), AR (Augmented Reality), IoT (The Internet of Things), machine learning, and more. 

But you still might be wondering what’s to come in the Web3 world? How will this impact your brand? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. 

Web 3.0 Predictions From the Experts

While Web 3.0 has yet to be clearly defined, and we can’t be exactly sure what this new generation of the internet will hold, we asked our experts to weigh in. Check out their hot takes and predictions for the future of the web below. 

Virtual worlds are the new reality 

“I’m not ready to jump into a painting just yet (looking at you, Meta), but my daughter is rocking Gucci in Roblox. She’s running around a virtual Niketown. And every month she’s been using my hard-earned dollars to buy virtual goods in make-believe land. Attention is the constant for marketers. If virtual worlds draw attention in droves, we’ll be there. And those virtual goods will translate into real-world goods (and vice versa). Just not today, Gucci, please.”

Nirish Parsad

– Nirish Parsad, Practice Lead for Future of the Web at Tinuiti

“While the digitization of brands was a great transformation in the last few years, the virtualization of brands is the key opportunity in 2022 and beyond for marketers. While Web3 might sound very esoteric and unreal to a lot of folks, it is ultimately opening up another set of new channels for brands to explore and take advantage of. Web3 will allow Gen Z consumers to be even closer to brands by having an immersive and elevated experience in the virtual world of the metaverse and owning their favorite brands’ digital art and offerings. This will encourage further brand loyalty. What is different is that consumers have an opportunity to influence brands in real-time. Web3 is already a thing and brands cannot stand by the sidelines. The early bird catches the worm. As for performance marketers, I do not see this as a big change in the way measurement will be done in these new channels.”

– Mainak Sarkar, EVP, Product & Technology at Tinuiti

Authenticity is key

“Web 3.0 transcends the limitations of time and space at scale, today, among a very specific and sought after audience. What brands can do is limited only by their imagination. What brands should do is limited by authenticity. Brands that are already building virtual worlds, hosting virtual events, selling virtual gear, and issuing branded NFTs tend to be those that have achieved the highest echelons of brand loyalty, credibility, multi-channel media spend, and community engagement. Or they are crypto-native upstarts that 99% of us would not believe are real. While most brands do not meet these qualifications – all brands have the opportunity to recognize that NFTs and the metaverse permeate today’s culture. Consider how you can build on-brand creative at the speed of culture. What kind of new loyalty programs can you reward your customers with? One day, paid, earned, and owned channels will be critical to driving your virtual product line sales. Until then, make sure you are covering the bases that drive physical goods sales.”

jesse math

– Jesse Math, VP, Advanced TV & Video Solutions at Tinuiti

“My biggest advice to anyone looking to get involved, from the individual to the brand, is to be authentic. Authenticity is going to be the foundation of what’s to come. Embrace the new developments, don’t be kitsch, and focus on the experience consumers have with your Products/Websites/App, etc.” 

– Liz Emery, Senior Director, Mobile + Ad Tech Solutions at Tinuiti

Brands will test the waters

While Web 3.0 won’t make sense for every brand today, there are opportunities to dip your toe in to test the waters. A great place to start is by leveraging the culture and lifestyle aspects of your brand when creating NFTs and virtual marketplaces.” 

– Liz Emery, Senior Director, Mobile + Ad Tech Solutions at Tinuiti

“Advertising opportunities are for first-movers that want to make a splash. Most likely virtual DOOH (digital-out-of-home) will have the biggest opportunity for advertisers to attract attention as people experience and move around the virtual worlds.”

– Kolin Kleveno, SVP, Addressable Media at Tinuiti

Consolidation is the future

“It is a wild wild west in the metaverse and NFT world currently. Even though Web3 is meant to decentralize the internet in response to all the big tech gorillas (Meta, Microsoft, Google), we will see more consolidation of Web3 in the future just like any other tech revolution from the past. While we will not see one single metaverse, all of the metaverses need to be interoperable for greater collective user experience. Efficiency and standardization will take over to allow for Web3 to be real.”

– Mainak Sarkar, EVP, Product & Technology at Tinuiti

Influencers will [still] be trusted voices 

Influencers will continue to be an integral part of the evolution of the web; how exactly they will be leveraged is evolving every day, but we are already seeing they are woven into the fabric of these new trends. From NFT creators and owners, to CGI influencers, all the way through to gamers and streamers, we will continue to see these trusted voices leading the way in how this new web is structured and engaged with.”

Crystal Duncan

– Crystal Duncan, SVP of Influencer Marketing at Tinuiti

Web 3.0 is coming quicker than you might think, and there’s no slowing the momentum down. To stay up-to-date with the latest news, check out our Future of the Web Hub for more information.

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