I am not asking for a way to filter or sort by viewer count.
It was pointed out in the Discord that this is intentionally not included, the reasoning given being:
“we believe that not listing a stream’s viewers leads to better and more fair discoverability. Content should reign supreme, and if you’re joining a channel because of the amount of people and not the content, you’re looking for a chat room and not a stream.”
I heavily disagree with the “looking for a chat room and not a stream” comment – growing streamers rely on people coming in and chatting with them to build a community. Viewer count isn’t a measure of quality, but it is a measure of what a community is bound to be like.
A lot of people prefer to become part of small streamer’s communities to build a more genuine connection with the streamer and become part of a smaller community. Those kinds of interactions are what a lot of people are looking for when deciding who to watch. Larger streamers have fanbases, not communities, and I personally avoid large streamers because of this, because it’s like watching TV instead of being an interactive experience, which is the whole point of streaming.
Being able to discern whether I want to “invest” in a streamer by seeing how small (or large) they are before I open their stream is a feature of Twitch that I rely on.