Snapchat aka Snap Inc. ($SNAP) is flipping the script in 2020. Where it once most needed sales staffers in 2019, it now needs engineers. Where shares traded for around $5 last year, today they're closer to $19 each. But analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are still expecting losses of -$0.11 when Snap announces results after the close on Tuesday, February 4. 

Snap is also getting more ratings in the Apple ($AAPL) Store, which our first chart tracks. We can tell that year-over-year, the number of ratings submitted by iPhone users is up 15%, and growing steadily. Perhaps another reason Snap is pursuing engineers - and we'll get more into this shortly - is because the social startup's Apple Store rating (not shown) is lower than a meager 2.5-out-of-5. 

Snap staffing was once soaring - more recently, it looks like it has reverted back to the mean. From their Q4 2019 peak, job postings at Snap are down 25% as of early February. But, it may not be a bad harbinger for the company or for its stock. 

Our chart shows that near the beginning of each calendar year, Snap tends to see big cuts to job postings, which may simply be a signal that the C-suite is recalibrating spending and staffing plans for the beginning of the fiscal year that lies ahead. Where Snap job postings end up in a few months, that might be a much more clear indicator of the company's growth potential going forward. 

Speaking of growth potential: at Snap, engineering job postings are way up to start 2020 - and up 183% from their 2019 lows. Now, Snap is pursuing more engineers than sales staff. Other parts of the business seeing job postings by category grow are "Design" and "Communications/Marketing;" "Sales," "Operations," and "Partnerships" are categories where Snap appears to be posting fewer jobs than it did during a 2019 peak. 

It's a critical development for Snap - especially because just a few months ago, it was seeking out more sales staffers than any individual category, and the refreshed focus on engineering suggests that perhaps, Snap has a new product in the offing. With challengers like TikTok out to devour Snap's market share, it would make sense for Evan Spiegel's startup to dig in and defend its turf. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

Ad placeholder