When Twitter’s earnings dropped on Thursday, one thing was sure to define the little bird’s quarter: new monthly active users.

How’d Twitter do? The company attracted 4 million new active users — a nice figure until you consider Twitter’s growth rate. During its fourth quarter, Twitter’s active user base grew 1.4 percent, down from 4.8 percent in Q3, and 6.2 percent in Q2.

In plain terms, Twitter’s user growth rate plummeted last quarter, and there are no signs (yet) that this trend will reverse. That is not good. Surely, investors are pissed, right? For a moment, that’s how it looked.

As soon its earnings report hit the wires, Twitter slumped 10 percent in after-hours trading. Then, it popped. The next day, Twitter opened at $46.13, up 11 percent from earnings day. By Friday afternoon, the price settled around $48 a share, up about 16 percent from Thursday’s close, as the Wall Street Journal notes.

Ok. So, Twitter isn’t growing fast enough. But, investors are happy?

Why investors aren’t panicking

When Twitter’s earnings dropped, it’s safe to say that investors looked at these numbers first: monthly active users, revenue, and ad revenue. After mourning user growth, the investor/analyst/pundit thought process probably looked something like this:

Twitter revenue good. $479 million. Better than expected ($453 million). Cool. Ad revenue grew 97 percent year-over-year. Good. 2015 forecasts? Strong enough. Ok. Cool.

In short, despite it’s slowing growth, all the other stuff looks good. Twitter has figured out how to make more money from the users it already has, and Twitter is betting that this trend will continue. For a more detailed look at these numbers, check out this analysis by Yoree Koh.

The tech industry really wants to like Twitter

Twitter is still something of a tech industry darling. And many of Twitter’s investors eat, sleep, and breathe tech. This is why it’s no wonder that investors gave the company a pass this quarter. Twitter continues to impact the world in unique ways. The company still seems nimble enough to evolve, as we saw with its latest (nicely timed) product releases and partnerships. And recently, even some bad news left the company looking somewhat proactive.

All of these factors led to Twitter’s 16% pop. But, what worked this quarter (the messy equation above) won’t work next year. Investors still care about growth, and Twitter’s growth rate can’t fall much further before its user base starts to shrink.

Twitter doesn’t need to be Facebook to survive and thrive. Investors know this. But it sure as hell needs to keep growing. Investors know that, too.

H/T: Fletcher Babb

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