Pinterest ($PRIVATE:PINTEREST) is planning to IPO in 2019, and to many analysts and investors, the idea-sharing app and website represents the future of a close marriage of social networking and marketing. Based on Facebook login data, it's even surpassed both Spotify and Tinder as the most-popular app in the world.
Put together, it's clear that Pinterest's future is bright. But now that it seems to have its product sorted pre-IPO, hiring data suggests that the company is now razor-focused on building revenue via sales and partnerships. That's because, for the first time, the company is hiring more Partnerships & Sales people than engineers.
Right after Pinterest announced its plans to go public last fall, the company began reducing its engineering openings just as it opened more headcounts for its Partnerships teams. Then, in January of 2019, the company for the first time listed more Partnerships openings than engineering. That shift came just before the company hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to lead its IPO.
Now that Pinterest is prepping for a future in the public sector, it needs to show potential investors that it has a financial upside that's scalable. So far, it's been enough to say that the social network has become wildly popular. It's another to show that it's creating revenue streams via brand partnerships that create long-term value and, in the end, profits per share.
Earlier this month, Pinterest launched new e-commerce features for its partners with a major focus on fashion brands like Levis. Meanwhile, just last week, Kroger announced a strategic interegrated marketing with Pinterest as a way to generate awareness and sales. It's clear, based on these deals along with Pinterest's hiring trends, that the social network is aggressively looking for similar partnerships as it ramps up revenues.
Overall, openings at Pinterest have declined slightly since February. Much of that decline can be attributed to a slowdown in engineering hiring as the company likely looks to lock in its product and technical offerings.
But that's no reason to panic, as the company is on a path of continual growth according to LinkedIn data. According to the business networking and jobs network, nearly 3,000 people list Pinterest as an employer compared to just over 2,000 at this time last year.