When it comes to Web2, people don’t own anything, especially not their data. Under the guise of an easy UX, Web2 has lulled us into a false sense of security when it comes to how our data is used.

Meta’s Instagram, for example, spews sponsored content every few clicks — selling us or telling us to do something — buy clothes, join a gym, visit a country. We know our data is being used and commoditized for the pockets of Big Tech, but we just don’t care enough to do anything about it.

This is where Web3 comes in, its approach to ownership is the complete antithesis of Web2. But the issue is — how do we make people care about their data?

Why Dissatisfied Web2 Users Haven’t Yet Migrated to Web3

Ownership comes with a lot of responsibility that people aren’t necessarily ready to take. When Elon Musk bought Twitter, people were concerned about what he was going to do with it. In 2022, X’s number of active users sat at 368.4 million users and today it has declined to 335.7 million, according to Statista. Hardly a dent in the armor.

This tells us that people are more willing to moan about something than they are to make a change. Web3 platforms like Lens, Farcaster, and friend.tech, want to address the evolving needs of users from Web2. While initial adoption rates may not exceed expectations, these decentralized applications (dapps) represent steps toward a more user-centric digital landscape.

Encouragingly, there’s a growing desire among users to reclaim ownership of their data, signaling a shifting mindset toward digital empowerment. In February it was reported that Farcaster had just over 61K daily active users. Simplifying onboarding processes and enhancing accessibility are essential steps in bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3 experiences.

The complexity often associated with Web3 technology can be off-putting, but efforts to streamline and demystify it are in motion. We need to communicate more about the tangible benefits of data ownership, sparking conversations about its real-world implications and value propositions.

Helping People Understand Their Value 

People love an ego boost and gravitate to things that make them feel valuable. This is what Web3 needs to do more of — we need to show them the value of ownership, not just tell them about it. 

This is something that Worldcoin has done so well. Like it or not, the project is the leading case study for showing ordinary people the value of ownership in Web3. The issuance of tokens is also a testament to what people will do for free money. 

Despite the discourse around the tech and why the need to scan retinas in the first place, people were willing to take a chance if it meant getting up to $600. Having a physical orb as the scanner, not just a camera, helped elevate many people’s first interaction with Web3. 

This is what developers working on new projects need to do more of — they need to make the onboarding process into Web3 easier than online shopping. Similarly, builders working on these new projects need to make identity a cornerstone of their projects.

The appeal of Web2 is having an email address that logs you into everything — in Web3, the concept of a digital identity is the same thing, minus the centralized server. Streamlining the onboarding process is the first step to seeing that mass adoption we’ve been talking about for the last 5 years. What’s the point in improving the user experience if we have no users?

Simplifying Onboarding Will Amplify Web3’s Value 

When it comes to understanding Web3’s value we are only halfway there. Web2 users have accepted that Big Tech exploits and owns their data but haven’t understood how Web3 addresses this. The industry must simplify the onboarding process to bridge this gap, making it more intuitive and user-friendly. 

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) allows users to own and manage their domain names, making it easier for people to interact with blockchain technology by getting rid of the complicated hexadecimal wallet address, promoting a more intuitive Web3 experience. 

By focusing on accessibility, the broader Web3 community can drive adoption and empower new and existing users with true data ownership, thus spurring the adoption Web3 has been chasing for so long.