What’s Next for the Internet?

by Jones David

The Internet got its start in the early 1980s. In the nearly 40 years since then, it has changed a lot. It used to be mainly for research and communication, but now it is a part of almost every part of our lives. But whether we realize it or not, the evolution of Internet capabilities is constantly occurring. In another 40 years, we won’t recognize the Internet as being the same platform as it is today. Here’s a glimpse into what’s next for the Internet.

The Metaverse

The Metaverse already exists, but it hasn’t hit the mainstream yet. It will, though, and pretty soon, instead of scrolling through a website or an app, users will be able to stroll through a three-dimensional digital landscape virtually. They’ll be able to meet up with their friends, no matter where in the world they physically are, shop in virtual stores for just about anything they want or need, and work in an online office next to their coworker, even if that coworker speaks a different language and lives in another country.

Essentially, the Metaverse will be a “walk-in Internet” that will immerse users in an alternate reality, but one that will have real-life implications. It won’t be a game; there will be video game-like elements, including avatars and quests. It will be an actual place user can visit without actually going anywhere. If it seems a little like science fiction, you’re right, but it’s also not very far from being a reality, or rather, virtual reality.

Blockchain Decentralization

In recent years, the Internet has been dominated by a handful of massive tech companies like Google (Alphabet), Facebook (Meta), Apple, and Amazon. But, with the advent of blockchain technology, experts predict that the power will soon be returned to individual users. Blockchain will rebuild the Internet with databases or decentralized public blockchains that are open databases available to everyone and shared on computers worldwide.

Some experts have hypothesized that this future version of the Internet that is collectively controlled by users instead of by a select few mega-companies will shift the power away from tech companies and make it easier for everyday people to innovate based on their needs. For example, it will allow creatives to make money with the content they publish online because there won’t be a tech firm using its influence to prevent it.

Others don’t believe that the power will return to users just by changing the underlying structure of the Internet. They point to cryptocurrencies, which are built on blockchain technology and have made only a few companies rich because they are the only ones who can develop the technology to take advantage of the underlying decentralized network. It remains to be seen if blockchain can cause a seismic shift in how the Internet works.

Open Access

Regardless of which vision of the Internet future comes to pass, there is a push to ensure everything is open access to users. Currently, most applications have what are known as “walled gardens,” which means they prevent users from other apps from interacting with them. As an illustration, we can’t usually send money from one cash app to another.

Interoperability is a significant issue that’s already being discussed in technology circles. While not every tech company is on board (Apple is, unsurprisingly, not willing to open its apps to everyone), the move to remove those walled gardens is underway. This will open up certain aspects of apps, such as messaging and sending money, to everyone regardless of which app they download.

Of course, some cynics believe that companies willing to discuss interoperability have an ulterior motive that involves capitalizing on new opportunities to make money from the new structure. As long as corporate involvement is monetized, they say, the ideals of an open Internet can’t be realized. This doesn’t mean that some interoperability isn’t possible, but it’s more likely to be done in partnership with companies rather than a standard for every app.


There are some exciting advancements on the horizon for the Internet, but there’s no clear indication of where it will end up. The possibilities are endless, and no matter what technology we already have, newer, better technology will always be ahead.

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