Part 03a – NFTs, and the world of Web 3.0.
Metaverse, Web 3.0, NFTs, and the buzz around it.
Recap: In the last post, we spoke about what Metaverse has to offer to brands. We also spoke about the building blocks that form the current state of the Metaverse, and the current challenges we face.
In this final blog of the series, we will briefly speak about NFTs and Web 3.0, which are making a buzz in the industry.
The main intention of this series of blogs has been to give you a fundamental understanding of what it is, and what it’s not. The same goes here as well. We will not get into the knickknacks of Web 3.0 and NFTs but just brush on the fundamentals of what they are and the opportunities or challenges that might hold for your brand from a marketing standpoint. Since Web 3.0 and NFTs are two massive topics by themselves, we will split this last blog into two parts.
To understand what these are, let's approach them in order of hierarchy, and start with Web 3.0.
What is Web 3.0?
In very simple terms, Web 3.0 is the 3rd generation of the World Wide Web. To put it into perspective, the current version of the internet is referred to as Web 2.0, and the first version of the internet many of us might or might not have used was Web 1.0 invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. We will dig a tad bit deeper to have a better understanding of Web 3.0 and how it is different from its predecessor.
Web 1.0 - In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee pioneered the early development of the internet at CERN, a European nuclear research organization. It was initially developed to meet the demand for sharing information between scientists around the world. Around the mid-90s, the introduction of web browsers such as Netscape marked the beginning of static web pages that were used by the masses who had little to no opportunity for any sort of interaction. Think of it as a simple digital version of a newspaper, static and read-only.
Web 2.0 - A term coined by Tim O’Reilly in the early 2000s, Web 2.0 was a paradigm shift in how the internet was used. The static pages were replaced by dynamic, interactive, connected and user-generated content that could be viewed by billions of people around the world in an instant. It gave birth to devices as well as platforms that drove the growth of the economy.
But there was a downside to this - lack of PRIVACY. The data of the users did not belong to them anymore. Giants such as Meta, Google, and Apple owned the data the user had published on the platforms that the giants built, and monetized by turning the data into products.
Web 3.0 - A new type of web that is based on the original vision of Web 1.0, with the goodness of Web 2.0. Coined by Polkadot and Ethereum founder Gavin Wood, Web 3.0 is a massive upgrade from its predecessors. Designed around the idea of owning, and removing the control from centralized organizations, in other words - Decentralization.
Web 3.0 gives you full control over the data shared by you with others and allows you to monetize when you share your data with applications or advertisers. Built on technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and blockchain to name a few, websites and apps will be able to understand everything you convey, and process information in a near human-like way. Imagine if you could reach out to your target audience individually with customized messaging for each of them. That is the power that Web 3.0 brings along with it.
Below is a quick key differences table for Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 to give you a better perspective.
A question might pop up here. What will happen to social media platforms and other giants? What would be the use cases? To answer the first question, it will be for these organizations to devise a policy to make it a win-win situation for themselves and the user. When it comes to the use cases, it will be everything that Web 2.0 has to offer, but in an upgraded form plus a few more distinct use cases.
Of the many use cases, let's look at two of them in specific that will matter to the brands when it comes to marketing in particular - Creator Economy and Blockchain Gaming.
1. Creator Economy - With Web 3.0, creators such as artists, writers, designers, developers and musicians will connect directly with their followers and supporters without the intermediaries such as giants ( Meta, Google, Apple…). A major highlight of the creator economy is NFTs - digital assets that provide2 creators with new opportunities to monetize. The advantage of the creators' economy is that it's not just for artists and musicians, even brands can connect directly with their consumers to build a community. Brands are not only selling their products in the virtual world but are also collaborating with artists and musicians to create assets. For instance, Nike teamed up with RTFKT, a creator-led organization to create their NFTs. Have a look. These NFTs could be bought and used in any of the decentralized platforms. We will speak more about NFTs in the second part of this blog.
2. Blockchain Gaming - As the name suggests, blockchain-powered games offer not only fun and excitement but also rewards in the form of native tokens. These games offer the flexibility of transferring in-game objects such as avatars, skins, tools etc.. to other games. Imagine using Nike Air Jordans in all your games. That gives good visibility for the brand without spending a penny and it is already happening with platforms such as Decentraland and Sandbox. This is not only a promising use case for B2C brands who want to explore it for engagement and increase in the user base, but also for B2B brands who are looking for internal training that rewards the user on accomplishments.
Web 3.0 and its connection to the metaverse? Or is there any?
Since we briefly understand what Web 3.0 is. Let’s see what is its relationship with Metaverse. If we have to simply put it across, Web 3.0 is one of the building blocks that form Metaverse. If you remember our previous blog (here, in case you missed it), we spoke about Metaverse being made of 4 blocks: Experience, Platforms, Technology and Enablers. Out of these 4 blocks, Platforms and Enablers use applications such as DeFi ( Decentralised Finance ), DAO ( Decentralised Autonomous Organizations ), Privacy and Digital Infrastructure. These applications use blockchain Web 3.0 making the age of Metaverse a starting point towards the decentralised era.
Just like how the world saw and adopted the transition of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, the transition to Web 3.0 is inevitable. Brands will have to start identifying the opportunities that lie with new technologies and the challenges that they would face with the intermediaries missing in action. This also means that brands need to come up with a Marketing 3.0 strategy for the future to come. Do talk to Mattr to understand more about Marketing 3.0.