Facebook does this. Most other chat programs do this.. Why?
There is neutral space, and when you introduce a major contrast change your eyes shift to it. This is why websites have a color (say gray) for neutral space, than in the important areas, they surround it with a darker or lighter color, and your eyes can comfortably and easily locate the area.
Why do this for messages?
If the messages where color coded contrasted areas (bubbles), you can easily locate at a glance who typed what. You don't need to have everyone their own color, as channels with many people it wouldn't be feasible, however.. Having a distinction in at least a 'your message', vs 'their message' (anyone other than you), you can now easily distinguish and filter out your messages in your mind and focus on theirs.
Since they are surrounded by a contrast difference, your eyes can easily scan the area of neutral space and focus on the chat areas. Also, if the chat lines didn't completely go to the end, your eyes can focus on an area of text easier.
There are talks and information you can get online for why not to have too many words on the same line, but it boils down to readability and accessibility, and having too many words could breach 'cognitive overload'.
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