Do people ever message other people just to chat?
It seems to me this kind of thing is fairly rare but not non-existent.
Occasionally I have exchanged messages through our respective message boards with other long-time contributors. Having said that, there are better forums for "chatting" and conversations are almost always limited to Socratic related topics.
From my personal experience I would say people often send random messages; they may lure you by praising you to engage in conversation.
I think one should be careful in dealing with people who use a platform like socratis for chatting, unless it has something to do with the answers. One thing leads to another: we must remember this as cyber crimes are on the rise.