Can Facebook’s Topic Data help make more bust-conscious shirts available?

I hope so, because shirt gape is a problem and the struggle is real.

No matter how expensive or powerful the bra, if I were a size appropriate button-up shirt, it’s not going to fasten it too much further above my navel. Not without incident anyway. Thus, camisoles get called into action if I need to wear an Oxford.

Luckily, I work in an environment where I don’t need to business attire all the time, but this is actually an issue when the occasion does arise. It’s shirt gape, and I’m not the only person who deals with it (though I only recently discovered I wasn’t alone).



Too many button-up shirts gape or bunch. I’d love to buy tops that fit perfectly without any additional assembly needed, as I don’t buy clothes just to sew/staple them later. Why can’t this issue be solved without accessories, DIY options or specially made Shirts that are a little too expensive for being a shirt?

Maybe it finally can.

Companies discover consumer concerns and general experiences through market research (focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc).  With the introduction of social media, companies are able to peek into the problems and experiences people have and why by looking at conversations taking place on twitter, instagram, and even the blogosphere. Social media has helped companies gain access into genuine organic conversations from real people the world over about their daily lives and everything they encounter. Using this information, brands ideally improve related issues with products/services, or understand how to better tailor their communication efforts.

Enter Facebook Topic Data. Introduced this week in the US and UK, it aims to provide companies even more insight into what possible brand/product/service experiences people are having by letting them see what people are saying on Facebook about their brand or possible brand related experiences.

Will The Gap see our pain and make a shirt that doesn't have "the gap"?

Will The Gap see how widespread “shirt gape” is and make more tops that don’t have “the gap”?


The biggest concern with this, of course, is privacy. Do you really want your musings on facebook (shared only with friends) made public to a company who just wants to better sell to you?

To that concern, Facebook is making any information shared with companies anonymous, so brands won’t be able to determine who exactly has said what. However, Josh Constine from TechCrunch shares:

Still, the idea that their private status messages to friends will fuel better ad targeting may irk some Facebook users. There’s no opt-out, and the only way to keep data totally private is to either set posts to be visible to “only me” or not post at all.

Yea, I’d be irked by this as well. That being said, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that one result I’d like to see from all of this is that other women talk about the shirt gap problem on FB, and clothing companies take that as a hint that there’s enough of a market for them to provide button-up shirts that address this issue. In all stores. And not just online.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll be able to start buying Oxford shirts again. I honestly gave up altogether.

Facebook ineffective as far as paid advertising…

I remember when Facebook first started. I was in college (it was only for college students), and suddenly ads started to appear. Most of the ones I saw were for parties, or bar crawls, or networking events. Pretty effective and I definitely remember being one individual who clicked.

Fast forward many years later, and facebook ads are ineffective. At least that’s what GM thinks.

A few days before the Facebook IPO, GM decided to discontinue paid advertising on facebook. However, they will still be using the free services on the site for user engagement.

Apparently, GM wasn’t seeing the type of ROI they wanted to see for $10 million in advertising on the social network.

I’m not terribly surprised either. Depending on the campaign, facebook advertising isn’t very effective for me. However, the fact that the car company is still leaving their unpaid efforts intact on the site could send a message to other advertisers on facebook. “Don’t pay for anything here, but continue to use the service as part of a larger strategy.”

The message is fine. However, I wonder if more and more advertisers will see the lack of ROI. Won’t this make monetizing facebook a bit harder in the future? Some of it’s initial IPO pricing is based off of the monetizing factor, right?

Either way, GM’s exit of paid advertising on facebook just leaves more room for another advertiser.