Don't Menshn escape! This woman is everywhere

You've got to page 32, and thought you had managed to avoid Louise Mensch. Sorry! Her Twitter rival launches today to cash in on the football

Louise Mensch is planning to capture the online enthusiasm for tonight's England quarter-final game against Italy in Euro 2012 by launching the UK version of her online messaging service Menshn. The Conservative MP and internet entrepreneur has brought forward the launch of her rival to Twitter to today to encourage people to use it to chat about the football.

Menshn, which allows people to talk about specific topics in "rooms" rather than the freewheeling, often random style of Twitter, was launched in the US last week to mixed reviews. Critics have described Menshn as too complicated and limited.

Mrs Mensch and her co-founder Luke Bozier, a former tech adviser to the Labour Party, had originally planned to launch the UK version later this summer to coincide with the Olympic Games, but the volume of traffic on Twitter triggered by the international football persuaded the pair to advance the date.

Last night Mrs Mensch responded to criticism of the service by insisting that Menshn was a "niche complement" to Twitter. "We wanted to offer a permanent water cooler for people who want to talk live," she said. "It isn't at all a rival to Twitter, it is a niche complement."

Asked whether she hoped to make a lot of money from the start-up, she said: "You don't worry about that too much. If you're an entrepreneur on the web, and you give people a good experience, then the money will follow. This week Twitter crashed because of the volume of Euro 2012 traffic. We were originally planning to launch for the Olympics, but the American launch attracted such interest that we thought we had to just go for it."

The UK version will start with two topics: UK politics and Euro 2012. At the end of the competition, the latter will become a general football "room" on the site. In the US Menshn started with three politics topics and has just added "tech" and "women".

The launch of the UK site means that the US version will also be open to UK users from today.

Mr Bozier said that Menshn is now integrated with Twitter, so that users can post comments and replies to both sites at the same time. He said he hopes the new site will offer a better service for users who want to stay "on topic".

Menshn allows up to 180 characters for each message, rather than the 140-character limit on Twitter.

Mr Bozier said the new site would offer a "clean environment, free of spam [junk mail] and trolling [inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages]". Frank Zimmerman, an internet "troll", was sentenced earlier this month for posting abusive and threatening emails to Mrs Mensch after harassing her on Twitter.

The site launched at midnight last night and it is expected to gain peak interest during tonight's England match against Italy. Mrs Mensch and Mr Bozier hope that the other launch topic, UK politics, will draw in people who want to discuss political news and comment in the Sunday newspapers and interviews, starting with Tony Blair's first appearance on the The Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 in nearly a year.

Renaissance Woman?

Apparently not content with simply having it all, Louise Mensch wants more than that. Here are the many strings to her bow:

Author: Successful "chick lit" author by her 20s, penning such racy titles as Venus Envy and A Kept Woman.

MP for Corby since 2010: She's made her name defending Rupert Murdoch and appealing directly to the PM to give her a ministerial post.

Rock Chick: Married her second husband, Peter Mensch, a year ago. He's the manager of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Mother of three children, who, as she told James Murdoch during a select committee hearing, she insists on picking up from school despite Westminster commitments.

Internet entrepreneur: After defeating an internet "troll" in court, her latest guise as founder of Menshn could bring her her greatest success yet.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary teaching roles in Ipswich

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...

Science teachers needed in Norwich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

English teachers required in Lowestoft

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits