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UPDATE 1-Twitter to pay verified creators for ads in replies, Musk says

(Adds background on company's advertising business, new CEO and messaging service in paragraph 3-5)

June 9 (Reuters) -

Twitter will soon begin paying verified content creators for ads in their replies, with the first payment block of around $5 million, company owner Elon Musk said on Friday.

"Note, the creator must be verified and only ads served to verified users count," Musk, the billionaire who bought Twitter last October, said in a tweet.

Since Tesla CEO Musk acquired Twitter, the platform has struggled to retain advertisers, who have been wary about the placement of their ads after the company laid off thousands of employees.

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The move comes as Twitter's newly named CEO,

Linda Yaccarino,

an advertising veteran from NBCUniversal, is about to take the helm at the social media platform.

In March, Musk said that

the messaging service

makes about 5 or 6 cents per hour of attention from users and could raise that to 15 cents or more with advertisements that are more relevant and timely.

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)