What is Web 3.0 and why it is so important for business?

Publicado por Marcos Santos em March 23, 2015

Greetings to all!

Day after day, the amount of data and information as we discussed in the last post available on the internet grows exponentially, new sites, new images are coming up every second. With this huge set of data, a major challenge is how to extract what is relevant to our day-to-day activities. In this context Web 3.0 and its tools became valuable for users in organising information.

Since the emergence of the first Web version, created in the early 90s by Tim Berners-Lee in Switzerland, its technologies have undergone significant changes, especially in terms of interactivity with the user and the massification of network usage.

In short, the Web’s history presents three major stages:

  • The Web 1.0 presented data and information in a predominantly static way, being characterised by low users’ interaction with the content – for example – leaving comments, manipulating or creating content of a website. The technologies and methods of Web 1.0 are still used for displaying content such as laws and manuals like this: http://copyright.gov/title17/92preface.html . That generation of the Web was marked by the centralisation of the content production – such as portals,  AOL and directories, Yahoo, and Craigslist, where the user was responsible for its own navigation and the identification of relevant content, having a predominantly passive role in a process where: just few produce information that is consumed for many likewise the broadcasting model widely used in the media industry by TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Web 1.0’s greatest virtue was the democratisation of information access.
  • Web 2.0 in contrast to Web 1.0 has its content predominantly generated by its users in a process where: many users produce content and many consume. An example of this model is Wikipedia. Other examples of user-generated content platforms are in blogs, social networks and YouTube. In Web 2.0 users are no longer just consumers; they become producers or co-producers of contents. In this version, search engines become more advanced and proliferate, since there is no more room for lists of links in directories, which has given a huge volume of content. Web 2.0’s great virtue is the democratisation of content production.
  • Web 3.0 or Semantic Web combines the virtues of Web 1.0 and 2.0 by adding machine intelligence. In 2001 Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Web, has published an article in the Scientific American magazine setting up the foundation of the Semantic Web. In his words, Berners-Lee explained how two brothers organised the logistics to support their mother health treatment, using intelligent agents, they do all the planning and execution of the process automatically interacting with clinical systems, among themselves and with their home devices. In Web 3.0, the machines get along with users in content production and in decision-making, transforming traditional supportive role of the internet infrastructure to a protagonist entity in content/process generation. Thus, Web 3.0 services can unite users and computers for problem-solving and intensive knowledge creation tasks. Therefore with its large processing capacity, Web 3.0 is able to bring services and products to people and businesses with high added value because of their assertiveness and high customisation, promoting the democratisation of the capacity of action and knowledge, which was previously only accessible to large businesses and governments.
Web 3.0 comparison among previous versions
Web 3.0 comparison among previous versions

Web 3.0 examples

Examples of Web 3.0 applications are Wolfram Alpha and Apple’s Siri, which can summarise large amounts of information into knowledge and useful actions for people. We can do a little comparison between Wolfram Alpha and Google, using both tools, typing the “Brazil vs. Argentina” phrase in both searching engines, and then we see big differences in the results:

Search results Google vs WolframAlpha

In the case of Google, the results turn out to be mostly about football games between Brazil and Argentina. Note that the word “football” or “games” were not mentioned in the search.  In Wolfram Alpha, the tool considers that the search is a comparison between two countries and consequently brings organised statistics, historical, geographical (maps), demographic, linguistic and other useful aspects for comparison analysis.

The Apple’s Siri, in turn, uses techniques of speech recognition and artificial intelligence to bring results and perform actions such as: “Where is the nearest pizzeria?” “How far am I from the nearest gas station” or “make an appointment at 9:00 am tomorrow.”

Traditional tools (Web 1.0 and 2.0) make search matching “word by word like” of the text in relation to what is published on the network, often with the bias of what is most abundant, ending up in many cases, not bringing what is most relevant to the user at that time. Systems operating in the Web 3.0 standards, in turn, seek contextualised knowledge to assist people in their jobs, pointing to series of analysis and potentially helpful information. One of the distinctions of Web 3.0 search engine, is the time that user need to spend sailing in a sea of ​​information to find what he/she really wants to get solved.

Companies like Apple and IBM have been investing heavily in Web 3.0 technologies, for example, the Google Inc. over the past decade has made several acquisitions of companies in the Semantic Web area, such as Applied Semantics, and Metaweb Technologies, Inc, among others.


We are living in an interesting time in history, where the Web begins to bring more knowledge and action capacity for its users, resulting in considerable changes in several aspects of daily life. This new Web is moving fast towards a more dynamic environment, where the democratisation of the capacity of action and knowledge can speed up business in almost all areas, ranging from: retail to applied molecular medicine; from micro-businesses to large corporations.

It is worth for innovative minds, whether business people, politicians, or researchers, to understand more about this new horizon of possibilities and be prepared for the new generation of businesses that are already happening and, increasingly taking their momentum in the national and international markets.  Web 3.0 as the continuation of the Web not getting along with its evolution might bring risks of organisations that that suddenly can becoming obsolete or irrelevant at the time of paradigm shifts taking in example of the giants of the past like Kodak, Nokia and Altavista.

In future posts we will talk about Big Data solutions that which we believe to be the way to materialize business faster than Web 3.0 and LOD, although all of them are getting more and more intertwined.  It is important to understand the way Web 3.0 is getting through Big Data and Linked and Open Data (LOD). Several interesting challenges ahead!

VORTX Big Data

Aquarela developed VORTX Big Data to make predictive analytics a lot easier, more precise and more robust than current solutions on the market with significant impact on business problems such as: Churn reduction, business scenarios discovery, predictive maintenance, market segmentation and healthcare resource optimisation.

Marcos Santos
Founder of Aquarela Advanced Analytics, CEO, and architect of the VORTX platform. Marcos Santos Marcos holds a master’s degree in Engineering and Knowledge Management from UFSC, an enthusiast of new technologies, having expertise in Scala functional language and in Machine Learning and IA algorithms. Linkedin
Joni Hoppen
Joni Hoppen is an enthusiastic Brazilian Data Scientist entrepreneur alumnus of the University of Twente in The Netherlands and co-founder of Aquarela Advanced Analytics with a strong focus on Data Analytics using rapid prototyping techniques. Linkedin
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