The internet has undergone significant changes since its inception. The first version of the world wide web, or the web 1.0, was a largely passive experience for users. Content was consumed, rather than created by the vast majority. While the content was created by a few, this more passive era of the web was arguably far more decentralized than the internet of today. A greater number of search engines including Yahoo, Lycos, Ask Jeeves and more vied for the top position before Google completely conquered the net, and social media sites had not yet taken off.
The Web 2.0 saw the development of a far more interactive internet. In this next stage of the internet’s growth, social media became king. Myspace enjoyed its time in the sun before Facebook grew into the #1 social media platform. Other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram carved out their own niche as individual users became the primary content creators. At the same time Google virtually eradicated all search engine competition, with an 88% share of the market. At 6% of the market Microsoft’s Bing remains one of the few search engines daring to defy Google’s market dominance.
In this era of the web, the tech net giants dominate with a single platform gobbling each market segment. Google dominates search facilities, YouTube dominates video, Facebook has social networking wrapped up, and Amazon is the internet’s shop. In effect, the internet has become centralized and siloed. It is siloed at the interface level and it is also siloed at the storage level. This places power in very few hands. The tech giants can effectively become gatekeepers to the world wide web, while totalitarian governments only need to block a few sites to restrict their citizens from the rest of the online community. With data siloed in massive data servers, hackers and other malicious actors have plenty of juicy targets to choose from.
The Next Web
The next iteration of the internet will be the Web 3.0 – and the trend of an increasingly siloed internet will eventually be reversed. This will arguably be as important to the development of the internet as Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the world wide web itself. While the Web 2.0 gradually siloed information and data, the Web 3.0 will decentralize the internet once more.
One of the companies leading this movement to genuinely decentralize the web is ArGo. ArGo is a web hosting platform created to help users build websites without the need for centralized hosting or servers. ArGo is powered by Arweave blockchain technology and promises its users a decentralized, uncensored, and permanent platform for hosting websites or dApps. All of ArGo’s features are possible with a one-time only deployment fee and no subscription charges or upkeep thereafter.
Much as bitcoin delivered decentralized money, and Ethereum decentralized smart contracts, ArGo will help to usher in a new era of decentralized internet. This new paradigm will create an internet which is impervious to censorship and centralized control, handing control back to the people.
The Future is Decentralized
When the Web 3.0 arrives it will be marked by many of the features already familiar to proponents of blockchain technology. With the Web 3.0 individuals and businesses will be able to trade assets and information with others whom they do not already know or trust without an intermediary. This will rapidly increase the opportunities for everyone to interact, creating a far richer set of experiences.
While the internet has always promised decentralization, the Web 3.0 will deliver it: a freer and more community driven world wide web.