Imagine the world, maintaining social relationships or even working without the social networking sites or instant messaging. The Internet has not always been so widespread and easily accessible as it is today. It is worth looking back at where we came from and looking ahead at where the web will take us.
· WEB 1.0 – the communication network
When the Internet first appeared, it was a tool for the elite, because it was created by very few people and institutions. It was due to the fact that you needed programming skills (which were not very common) or vast financial resources. Hiring specialists and buying hardware meant huge expenses. Therefor the first networks were created and used mainly by the government and public institutions.
· WEB 2.0 – the social network
Over time, “being” on the Internet became easier, cheaper and ultimately it became a mass phenomenon. The technology offered more possibilities, while videos and pictures became the medium of messages. The Internet officially became the new communication medium, where users can be both creators and consumers. The versatility of posting content gave birth to social media which are the essence of integration of the society with the web.
· WEB 3.0 – the social network
The development of the web is now at the semantic stage. What is it about? No restrictions, bidirectionality (and maybe even polydirectionality), interactivity and primarily personalization. With artificial intelligence (such as the Google search engine algorithms or the Edge Rank algorithm on Facebook) the Internet is “tailor-made” for every user. The web collects information about us and then adjusts the content to our interest, views or expectations. Another result of this growth is the ubiquity of the Web. Mobility, virtual reality and applications mean that we are connected with the Web all the time and continually stay in touch with its content.
WEB 4.0, i.e. the web of the future will surely keep growing and make our daily interaction even more thorough. Probably all of us will be on-line, and the web algorithms will be improved, perhaps even understanding our emotions?
What does this mean for us? What are the business opportunities?