Gmail gets revamped Hangouts with availability indicators, improved search, emoji & more

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set mood

Google announced today that it’s adding some improvements to the Hangouts messaging feature built into Gmail on the desktop. Returning are the small green availability indicators next to the profile photos of contacts, and Google is also introducing message snippets, improved search functionality and 80 emoji:

Starting today you’ll see some changes in your conversation list in Hangouts, including message snippets and the return of green “availability” bubbles to make it easier to see which of your friends are currently active. With the new search icon, you can see a list of all your chat buddies and find other friends on Hangouts. And whether you’re happy, grumpy, or any of the other seven dwarfs (plus a few not in the storybook classic), you can set your mood using one of 80 emoji. Your friends will have no problem guessing how you’re feeling that day.

Google says the new features will roll out to Gmail users on the desktop that have opted in to the new Hangouts experience today. If you haven’t already, you can switch to the new Hangouts by clicking your profile picture and selecting “Try the new Hangouts.”

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