The word “user” abstracts the actual individual.
Jack Dorsey on why Square “users” are really just customers.
Social users are customers too, customers of a platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and customers of anyone they follow, individuals as well as brands.
There isn’t always a monetary exchange involved in social media. It’s typically a quid pro quo of information. If you don’t want to participate, you can consume for free.
We’re all customers of each other, interconnected through physical and invisible wires we call the Internet. Simple.