Keeping contacts visible in the chat list
To make a contact always show:
- In the Search people box at the top of the chat list, type the name of the contact you'd like to always show.
- From the resulting menu, click Show in chat list.
If you mark a contact to always show in one Google product, like Gmail, they will also always show in your chat list in other Google products.
If, in the future, you would no longer like this contact to always show, you can repeat the steps above to uncheck the Show in chat list option.