What are the Basic Characteristics of Web 2.0?

The Web 2.0 is a living term that describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design.  It is aimed to enhance creativity, information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web.    It is a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services such as social-networking sites, wikis, folksonomies, and blogs. 

O’Reilly Media, Inc. introduced the word Web 2.0 in 2004.  Tim O’Reilly defined Web 2.0 as “the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform”. 
Internet websites were not viewed only as providing information, but also with Web 2.0 the social element is present wherein users generate and distribute content, usually with freedom to share and re-use.

The following are some of Web 2.0 basic characteristics:
1. "Network as platform" – delivers applications through a browser and allows users to use such applications.
2.  It provides user’s ability to own the information on a site and exercise control over the information.
3. It has architecture of participation, which encourages users to add value to the application as they use it. This is in contrast to the hierarchical access-control in applications, where systems try to categorize users into roles with varying degrees of functionality.
4. It has a rich, interactive, user-friendly interface based on Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) or similar frameworks.
5. It has provides social-networking aspects.