The drive for attention has also influenced the way we talk about products. As designers we’re expected to make things “habit forming”. Get people “hooked”. And turn monthly “users” into daily “users”. The only other people I know who call their customers users are drug dealers.
While no tech company is currently trying to create more people (except maybe Tinder) the other two paths have already started to manifest. Major players are trying to expand global internet access. Facebook’s internet.org initiative is geared toward bringing free internet access to populations without it, and Google’s Project Loon is designed to create a balloon-based network delivering reliable internet to isolated rural areas.