Streamlined Processes & Procedures
The integration of artificial intelligence will automate many company processes and procedures here, meaning that they can allocate resources to the parts of the journey that would most benefit from real human involvement.
Companies will also no longer have to worry about protecting user data, removing their data privacy responsibilities - which can be challenging under strict modern privacy laws.
Reduced Company Costs
For smaller businesses particularly, the decentralized nature of Web 3.0 will undoubtedly mean that they’re better protected from the threat posed by larger players.
It will reduce costs for various business elements, such as intermediary services, referrals, and advertising, and give them more bargaining power.
What Web 3.0 will Change for Digital Marketing
Web 3.0 hasn’t fully arrived yet; critics argue that it is utopian, and that many ideas won’t be completely realized because today’s major tech companies won’t be supplanted easily. Nor would it be simple to regulate a completely decentralized online space.
As such, predictions about how far Web 3.0 will develop - or the practical implications for marketing - are difficult to make.
But Web 3.0 is, at least in part, already here.
Google’s integration of social media signalers into its ranking algorithm is in itself undeniable evidence that Web 3.0 strategies should be added to digital marketing practices today.
But geotargeting, semantic coding, and user reviews are also commonplace, as are artificial intelligence and machine learning.
One thing that is already clear is that the Web 3.0 elements that have been introduced are making data collection more challenging for companies. With traditional marketing methods going out of the window, companies will need to adapt to new ideas or lose their competitive edge.
Put simply, digital marketing in Web 3.0 is moving away from traditional channels, like websites, email, and social media.
Instead, the decentralization of Web 3.0 means that marketing will become more about interacting directly with customers and prospects.
And, by blurring the space between online space and the real world, Web 3.0 provides new opportunities for companies to reach out to people.
Web 3.0 offers a far more interactive and immersive experience with regards how content is created and consumed.
And, without the involvement of intermediary platforms, internet uses will have considerably more control over what marketing they will and won’t accept.
In practice, this will result in an increase in both the quality and quantity of marketing content.
Marketing will also need to align with the hyper-personalized experience afforded by Web 3.0 technology. This extends to voice searches that deliver a seamless online journey, as well as to websites that will have to move away from their current static form and adapt what is shown to the historical behavior, preferences, time of day, and location of each visitor.
The collective ownership of decentralized blockchains, and the shares that users earn from participation, means that digital marketing could well need to become incentive-based to be effective.
The result of this would be an increased reliance on internet users as marketers themselves, within a mutually beneficial environment for companies and consumers alike.
And, while this may sound like pie in the sky, you only have to watch Bill Gates’ Letterman appearance to understand how baffling the initial concept for Web 1.0 was to people back in 1995.
Privacy and Security for Web 3.0
The internet has undoubtedly brought great benefits to society, but the issues of online privacy and security are impossible to ignore.
In this context, the optimism around Web 3.0 rests on its capacity to address these fundamental problems, enabling internet users, companies, and machines to share data with far greater security, and we’ll run through the main advantages below:
Removes Third-Party Risks
The key privacy characteristic of Web 3.0 is its removal of third parties from internet use.
Since Web 3.0 is built on blockchain, this technology is decentralized and means that no single person, group, or organization has full control over the network.
Instead, the data belongs to the users themselves, who also benefit from decentralized identity technologies with no “middleman”.
This means that users will no longer need to rely on third party platforms, or will at the very least be able to better use them on their own terms.
Reduced Risks of Hacks & Breaches
Removing the involvement of Big Tech platforms also takes away the risks they pose to breaches and data exploitation.
Decentralization also means that huge amounts of data will not be stored in a single place, with a single point of access.
As such, data breaching is minimized and any that do occur will not affect large numbers of users.
Additionally, governments will not have access to our online data.
For hackers, blockchain technology represents a significant hurdle to stealing any worthwhile quantity of data.
Since information is spread across a vast network of personal devices - smartphones, computers, appliances, sensors, vehicles, and so forth, hacks have to break into over half of them to infiltrate the network. Given the work involved, such attacks are rare.
User Identity Protection
Blockchains enable internet users to verify their identity themselves, reducing the number of people that have access to their sensitive information.
User data is opaque, and advanced encryption methods mean that their identity is separated from the data itself. This enables users to interact with networks without giving too much personal data away.
People can use cryptographically-secure digital identities to trustlessly complete transactions, without sharing sensitive personal information - so, personal data no longer makes internet users the product when it comes to the internet.
This means that Web 3.0 is much more secure than the internet generations that came before, giving internet users better data security and identity protection.
Data Sharing Control
Web 3.0 technology enables new forms of decentralized identity, including self-sovereign identity (SSI) that enables user control over their credentials without the involvement of third parties - giving them far greater control over what information they share and protecting their privacy.
Crucially for data sharing, while blockchains are impossible for anyone but the internet users to change, they are visible to virtually anyone. So, when built on this technology, users can see who has access to their data, and will be the ones to decide when, how, and for how long to share their personal data with others.
This is helped by the fact that user data is encrypted to the point that it is completely unbreakable, preventing companies from exploiting data without explicit user consent.
In the future, instead of providing personal data for each platform you use, users can simply decide in a single place what data they authorize platforms to use.
What Are the Privacy & Security Risks for Web3?
No technology is free from risk and Web 3.0 is no different.
Decentralization brings with it its own issues, since it means that data sits outside of secured centralized servers that have only one point of entry.
As such, the number of ransomware attacks, cryptocurrency breaches and data leaks looks set to continue as Web 3.0 technology becomes more widespread, particularly because of the nature of decentralization that makes it very difficult for authorities to identify responsibility for data control or catch hackers.
Confidentiality of Data
Since personal data will flow through artificial intelligence and will be scanned by machines, there is a likelihood that data confidentiality can be compromised. Personal data could also be accidentally released or moved to an unsecure location.
Manipulation of Data
One concern with Web 3.0 is the potential that artificial intelligence could be programmed with the objective of intentionally manipulating data, or to manufacture whatever results they want.
A good example here is when Microsoft set up its chatbot “Tay” to learn human behavior from Twitter, but people intentionally sent malicious tweets and trained it to be racist.
Smart contracts bring with them the risk of logic hacks and the lack of legal protection when things go wrong.
Decentralization also might make it difficult to identify liability and, even if you file a lawsuit, the anonymization of legal contracts adds further complications.
There is also the risk of “rug pulls”, in which investors lose their funds when cryptocurrency developers run away from the project.
The biggest example of this to date is Thodex, where over $2 billion in cryptocurrency disappeared.
Looking at Web 3.0 from the perspective of policymakers, decentralization makes it difficult to identify the controller and processor of personal data.
It is also unclear how internet users will be able to delete or change personal information on and off the blockchain, and how data access requests will work - and who exactly will be responsible for this.
Distributed content hosting also makes it difficult to work out the national jurisdiction that a particular website falls under.
This lack of centralization and data access also makes policing cybercrime, including online harassment and extortion, more difficult. How can the police enforce hate speech laws when they can’t identify internet users?
Extent of Security Remains Unclear
Web 3.0 may well dash the hopes of enthusiasts who see it as a way to completely take power back from large organizations, as it's likely that it will operate alongside Web 2.0.
But with Web 2.0 companies already integrating this new technology into their platforms, its final form will become more clear as we move forward.
Web 3.0 is built around the principle of data security, but it is still vital that security measures are built into it from the outside. New risks will no doubt arrive, and only time will tell whether users and businesses will benefit from the many potential privacy benefits.