Today, Google announced an update that improves Hangout’s integration in Gmail. In an effort to make your contacts more accessible, this new tab displays friends who are online first, followed by those who aren’t. You can still send messages to offline contacts, however they won’t get them until they sign into Hangouts from a desktop, smartphone or tablet.
Lastly, you can pin your favorite people to the top of your contact list for fast access during chats. Google says this update will be available over the next few days, so you might not see it right away. However, if you’ve somehow never used Hangouts in Gmail, you can click on “Try the new Hangouts” to launch the newest version of Mountain View’s instant messenger.