Viewer Count Toggle

As we know we can turn viewer count off on our own channel. The downside to this is that everyone else can see this count. The unfortunate side effect is that viewers can easily judge a channel based on how many people are watching. For example, a channel with 20 viewers will more likely retain a new viewer than a channel with 3 viewers.
On a side note, it seems a little redundant to show viewer counts even though the platform categories don’t.
My suggestion is to have the ability to completely turn off viewer count on your channel via a toggle in channel settings, so neither the streamer nor viewer can see it.

I was always of the opinion it should’ve been opt-in like everything else in the first place. Like hidden by default.

I do think it’ll do a lot as a helpful tool for streamers if they can disable the count altogether like you can disable comments when you upload a youtube video or whatever.

So yeah I wholeheartedly second this!

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I back this idea as well; it’s probably one that should have been implemented to begin with, but hindsight and all that.

I really like this idea too. Since the general consensus across the platform is that numbers are secondary to fun - this would actually back it up.

Allowing a way to toggle it on, is also a great option for those who are a little more number orientated. Plus there is always the channel statistics for those who want to remove viewer count - but still want to check up on their numbers.

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after looking at this idea for a day or so now i cant really see a negative effect to this.

i think it actually values the Glimesh model very well

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I’m against this idea. I don’t think we should take the whole “no viewer counts” thing too far. The original goal was to discourage people from deciding which channels to join based on how many viewers it has - ie. not judging a book by its cover. It was an experiment, and one that went well.

there are still legitimate reasons for wanting to see a viewer count. The first one that comes to mind is transparency - if we don’t show the information, it looks like we are hiding/covering up something. I watch all kinds of streams, but I still like to see the viewer count to inform my behaviour.

There are different types of viewers as well, some like smaller more intimate connections with the streamer, others like to be part of a large group of chatters and bond with them. I don’t see either of those as being wrong, and see no reason why a user shouldn’t be allowed to evaluate a channel after hanging out for a while. Personally I like to know if there are only a few viewers - I’ll tend to chat more if there are less viewers (to keep the streamer engaged), then tone it down and give others a chance to chat when there are more (so I don’t annoy the other viewers by being an attention hog).

Disabling the count by default may be helpful for some streamers to not focus on the numbers, but for others it could affect them negatively - maybe ending a stream prematurely because it seems nobody is chatting, when really there are a bunch of lurkers. Hiding it by default in-channel could also push a lot of streamers away who are used to watching their metrics, gauging viewer interest, and choosing games accordingly - again, not a bad thing (good for community growth) as viewers are not likely to tell you if the are not interested in a game, they just leave. Hiding viewer counts entirely by default will also drive away viewers who are new to glimesh if they perceive the platform to be dead.

it should be a personal choice not to SEE the viewer count, but not the streamer’s choice to hide it from others already viewing their stream

That was my point, to have it optional, not to turn it off by default. In no way was I suggesting that it be enforced on anyone

My problem with the viewercount is that then chat isn’t based on activity, it’s boiled down to a number. Metrics are helpful, sure, but I really think that just leads to people focusing on growth rather than just streaming what they want. When people look at metrics, they can be way too concerned about them. They may stop streaming because they see that they’re “underperforming” or they’ll push themselves to stream every day. Both of these in my opinion are terrible mindsets that Twitch has made a habit for everyone and we should aim to break away from that.

Besides, we have the luxury here that Glimesh for a streamer is a very low pressure but empowering place to stream with technology being used to improve the quality of chat engagement beyond what you’d get elsewhere. That should speak for itself and thus, we honestly don’t even need a viewer count and I think enabling streamers to support that idea of interaction over numbers would be a very powerful stance for us to take as a community. Also this will avoid it being a source of discrimination down the line when Glimesh has big streamers because I don’t know about ye but I don’t want this to become another platform where people could go “STFU scrub you only have like 2 viewers and here I am kicking your ass in-game in front of thousands”. But hey…that just my more radical view on the topic.

Regardless, as much as I love the idea of just getting rid of viewer count altogether, that’s not what this thread is about. And as far as I can tell we’re trying to bring forth one or both of the following changes:

  • Streamers opting-in to displaying viewercount altogether (i.e. if a streamer wants to care about how many viewers they have, they totally can even though it’s not important for how their channel is displayed in categories or on homepage. Either way it offers the streamer even more control over their own stream)
  • Viewers opting-in to displaying viewercount on whatever channel they’re watching (i.e. If a viewer is curious enough to want to see the count, they can)

I really like both but I am biased. At the very least I think the latter just makes more sense and has minimal impact on the current user experience.

TLDR: This is Glimesh, viewercount doesn’t matter nor should it.

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If you were to go down this route I think ensuring viewers also have control (such as Banjax suggested) over whether or not they see view count is a fair way to approach it. While I do understand some streamers get stressed over metrics so want to turn it off entirely, as a viewer there should also be the option to control that too. Some people may purposefully want to seek out smaller streamers and an easy way to do that is to have a lil look at viewcount, so having the option included for viewers too I think is just as important.

Because in giving just one party (streamer or viewer) that control, you remove the control from the other. Balance is key I think.

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The way Glimesh works doesn’t really make that overly easy anyways given that to see the viewercount you have to open a stream in the first place. I genuinely think that the count doesn’t matter because once someone clicks on a stream, whether or not they stay should be based on the stream itself regardless of their intentions. It’s just as easy to see an active chat vs a quiet chat. Hence my whole point about interaction over numbers.


I agree tbh but still, it’s the streamer’s stream. Whatever makes them feel comfortable is always worth considering.
I think the choice to hide count completely is just another way a streamer should be able to tailor the experience they’re sharing with their chat. If a viewer doesn’t like that, that’s ok, it’s a great opportunity to explore and browse for another stream.

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Oh I don’t disagree, I just feel in all things there is a balance which needs to be struck between streamers and viewers. Streamers who can control their streams, but also viewers who can have control over their experiences in how Glimesh is set up for them.

At the end of the day everyone will have their experiences and opinions, some may want viewcounts to drive them, others may want them so they can seek out sponsorship deals, others may not want them because it can do a lot of stress and damage mentally which we’ve seen. And I do agree that the more control people have over their experiences the better it will be. Likewise from a viewer perspective people may want to see the viewcounts, others may be just as happy looking if a chat is popping or not.

Im happy you made the suggestion to include the viewers in turning it off or on.

The on thing I would say is the “viewercount doesn’t matter nor should it”, i think thats a personal thing, for some it does, or will, as they grow if they want to seek out sponsors. I don’t think its viewercount doesn’t matter, its viewercount should only matter if its what you personally want, which is honestly where I think this suggestion stemmed from anyway, and I totally understand.

Im kinda on the fence as to on or off by default. View count on by default to my mind makes sense, purely because those looking to move over, thats the norm for them, but equally this is Glimesh and since when have we done things because others have, but also, its one of those, it may help the transition, and we can direct people to “hey did you know you can do this” - which is something I think we could do more by and large anyway :slight_smile:

But anyway, this is just my opinion towards it all. Im definitely enjoying reading the conversation and seeing the ideas develop!

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Throwing this idea out there for comment – Instead of showing/hiding the viewer count, should it be more of a “minimized by default/maximized by default” setting? In other words, you’d have:

  1. The red viewer count button is on the page but in minimized form:
    image
  2. The red viewer count button is on the page and maximized:
    image

This would potentially be more of a middle ground between both extremes.

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This is exactly what I meant by making it opt-in for viewers. Basically just take how it works already but make the minimized version the default. That’s all I was asking for really. That said I still believe that Sp33d’s suggestion is a really good one.

I agree with berri - its not that viewercount doesn’t matter, its that viewercount doesn’t matter to glimesh when it comes to discoverability. People have taken the whole “viewer counts don’t matter” thing and run with it, as if streamers who track viewer counts are wrong to do so. I feel like making it opt-in (hidden by default) is pushing our stance onto streamers. I would prefer it to be opt-out

If implemented I would prefer @MemoryLeakDeath 's proposal where users can opt to see it even if the streamer wants it hidden by default. Ultimately the streamer should not dictate someone else’s experience on the site (even on their own channel) if it could negatively affect their experience on glimesh as a whole

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I’ve created a new pull request to add this feature to Glimesh, you can find it here:

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YES! Thank you! This is a feature I really wanna use and I appreciate the work you put in to make it!