Take the 2-minute tour ×
Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have quite a lot contacts whom I chat with.

I already installed lab in Gmail which puts the chat list to the right side to have more space.

Now I'd like to group the contacts in the online list in any grouping, best would be the same as Gmail contact groups (or less relevantly maybe Circles), actually anything semantic (i.e. not grouped by first letter or similarly useless).

Can anyone point me a Lab, Greasemonkey script or something similar to achieve this?

Edit: use cases (may be imaginary) (as suggested by @OnenOnlyWalter)

The general idea is that everywhere you can group stuff to organize and work more effectively, easily: think about Contact Groups, Circles, Facebook friend groups (lately even created automatically (Smart lists) for your convenience), Skype contact groups, MSN contact groups, ... I think you get the idea.

Now let's see some scenarios:

  1. At work we use Google Apps hence Gmail, Talk, Drive, ... I work for support and I support at least 5 customers at time. Each customer has it's own team within the company. I added them to my Contacts and grouped them by team. I want to be able to see who is online from a given team because I need to ask a quick question / remember the client may be on the line...

  2. I have my family, friends, colleagues, sport-mates and I want to have see their statuses, but when I want to see if someone is online to ask to go play Squash I don't want to filter my family members/colleagues with my eye if I could just close those groups.

Remember a time when the Labels in Gmail were flat, i.e. no hierarchy? What about now? Different [custom] colors, "infinite" nesting, all out of the box. There were Labs and scripts making it possible then it got integrated. I know there are workarounds for everything, for example on Skype I renamed all my contacts to include prefixes in their names, because it has contact groups, but you can only see one group at a time. Of course when I know who I want to talk to I can filter by typing, however most people like clicking more.

In the end it all comes down to convenience, effectiveness, customization.
As a strong example: you can use telnet to send Emails through SMTP with hand-written XHTML and Base64 encoded image attachments, why do you use a modern browser, Gmail and its rich text editor then?

Few examples of the missing feature

example example example example

share|improve this question
I've been searching for it but it's really hard, because everything is called 'group': GMail contact groups; Group chat in GMail/Google Talk; Google Groups mailing lists –  TWiStErRob Aug 28 '12 at 14:41
Why are trying to group the chat contacts? If you can explain the use case here it might help. Is it just that the list of contacts is too long? Can you not just start typing a persons name in the chat search to pull their information card? –  OnenOnlyWalter Oct 16 '12 at 17:11
To add to this, let's say in my office we have 100 people on chat. On my team I have 5 and on our floor 20. I'd like to group those 5 into a TEAM group, have them listed at the very top of my buddy list, etc. if there's a work around, I'm open. –  user63184 Mar 13 '14 at 16:58
At this time Gmail has two apps for chat, Google Chat and Hangouts. Google Chat is no longer receiving updates in favor of Hangouts. –  Rubén 13 hours ago
Regarding Gmail sidebar gadgets, accourding to [Gmail - Sidebar Gadgets] (developers.google.com/gmail/sidebar_gadgets), they are now deprecated. –  Rubén 13 hours ago

1 Answer 1

It looks like it's getting worse, with the new Hangouts chat client there's isn't even a way to see all my contacts, only the ones I have contacted and didn't archive the hangout, show up.

The only workaround I can think of is just to simply turn off Gmail chat and start using a desktop client like Pidgin. There you can group and move contacts around as much as you want.

Of course this way you lose Circles and Hangouts features like video and stuff, but for simple chatting it's a good enough workaround.

share|improve this answer
The Hangouts widget has two tabs, one for conversations, another for contacts. –  Rubén 13 hours ago
Another workaround is to use Google Contacts. There you could check your groups and circles. –  Rubén 12 hours ago
@Rubén I have 600 contacts and the contacts tab was showing me about 20 all of those are contacted in the past few months. –  TWiStErRob 12 hours ago
@Rubén I know how to browse and create groups. The questions is how can I use them for chatting. See the updated questions with images. –  TWiStErRob 12 hours ago

protected by Community Mar 13 '14 at 17:05

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.