The discussions around Web3 have really accelerated. Whether it’s just dipping their toes into the blockchain or diving into the metaverse, many brands and advertisers have started taking the opportunities seriously. The media’s most ardent proponents tout decentralization as crucial to establishing an Internet with privacy and user control at its core, and argue that Web3 may be the most viable way to break Big Tech’s monopoly.
Despite the growing momentum around Web3 and the opportunities it could provide, the industry seems divided on how to view the new technology. Views around blockchain, cryptocurrency, and decentralization remain mixed: According to Stack Overflow’s 2022 Developer Survey, 32% of developers have a “favorable” view of Web3, compared to 31% with a “unfavourable”.
With the jury still out on the possibilities, we asked industry experts for their views on the advancement of Web3, if it really will be the next phase of the internet, and what challenges may lie ahead. on his way.
Web3 can’t go further without regulation
Web3 gives Internet users more control over the privacy of their data than ever before. But despite advantages like decentralized data capabilities, a lack of crypto and NFT policy has highlighted Web3’s susceptibility to fraudulent activity.
Further investment in Web3, once the decentralized currency market is buoyant again, could see companies succeed in gaining public engagement and realizing Web3’s potential to overtake Web2. However, until centralized agencies such as governments become familiar with decentralized environments and platforms overcome convoluted regulation and even outright bans on advertising, the ad tech industry is limited by considerable obstacles.
Xavier Klein, Director of UK Marketing Services, doing science
Big Tech is holding Web3 back – but for how much longer?
There are major hurdles to the mass adoption of Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) developed by the Web3 blockchain, for the protection of individual identity, which would herald the start of the “next chapter of the Internet”. DIDs would allow users to make secure and private transactions over the Internet, but also to get a share of the data monetization action if they wanted to sell their DIDs to advertising platforms.
The top blockers are all from Big Tech, who are concerned about the effects of the introduction of DIDs on their current ad revenue. However, Big Tech is under revenue pressure – Meta from Apple’s ATT upgrade in 2021, Google from Microsoft’s investment in ChatGPT to supercharge Bing, and Amazon’s reported layoffs in 2023 due to a overinvestment. So there may be a strategic advantage for one of the big tech players to provide a pathway to mass adoption of DIDs.
Kate Cox, CMO, BrightBid
Changing Audiences Will Improve Web3 Adoption Over Time
Web3 and the Metaverse are the natural evolution of the Internet as we know it today and will have a big impact on the ad tech industry. When you think about decentralized technology and virtual worlds (including games), new opportunities for real-time personalized advertising and data privacy emerge. Advertisers will need to rethink how they reach highly engaged audiences in virtual environments, while respecting users’ privacy rights, perhaps through blockchain-based solutions.
Over the next 5-10 years, Gen-Z and Gen-Alpha will become even more valuable audiences, born out of a world of gamification, immersion, and creator economies. Expect utility- and membership-filled NFTs to be embedded in ad-tech formats and AI-generated videos, artwork, copy and digital humans, disrupting the creative industries. Interactive and immersive experiences are already part of the DNA of good brand experiences. Moving people from audience to participant is the backbone of Web3 experiences, but is already achieved through interactions with augmented reality or virtual worlds.
Sam Field, Director of Innovation and Creative Partnerships EMEA, Yahoo Creative Studios
The potential of Web3 for advertisers is too great to ignore
Web3 concepts can unlock huge potential for advertising. Blockchain technology, for example, can transform the way data is used, providing a public ledger that ensures transaction data is verifiable and trusted throughout the supply chain. Meanwhile, digital identity wallets give users direct control over their data and can act as persistent, consented identifiers that facilitate valuable brand-user connections.
These features reflect Web3’s core ideology: to shift control from the gatekeepers of the Internet to the users. In comparison, Meta’s development of the Metaverse conflicts with this ideology because Meta will focus on protecting its walled garden, even as its efforts make Web3 more mainstream.
Ben Putley, CEO, Alkimi Exchange
Web3 hasn’t lived up to its promise yet, but the future looks bright
As the Internet grows from Web1 to Web2, Web3 will provide an evolutionary stage that augments current functionality in a consumer-centric way, including through immersion and self-sovereignty. The last two years have oversold the promise of technologies, which have far exceeded the practical use cases we have seen materialize in the industry – either due to misuse or quick cash grabs to capitalize. in the broader crypto market.
However, these years of capital fueled growth have also helped push these technologies towards development and despite the market downturn, I am sure we will see some exciting new projects develop over the next few years.
Vlad Panov, VP Web3 Engineering, Publicis Sapient