One of the excellent features found in Bitbucket is an indicator of users actively viewing a pull request, as well as updates when that pull request is updated or comments are left. Such a system for JIRA issues would be extremely valuable.
Is this anywhere in JIRA's roadmap, or are there plugins which can accomplish this?
The most similar thing I've heard of is this free addon:
It is not supported by Atlassian and it is on Beta phase, but has collected a really good score on user votes.
A complementary way of keeping track of issues on which your users are actively interested would be having a look at the Watchers list, as you probably already know. Mind that you will need to be granted with the 'View Voters and Watchers' permission on the permission scheme set on each of the projects so that you can view the watchers list.
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