iFive: Twitter’s Growth, YouTube Gets “Channels,” iPad Delays RIM PlayBook, Apple Orders Huge Data Store, Facebook Phone Arrives

Welcome to Thursday. Or, what we like to call: “There’s a lot of news, so you better read i5 to catch up fast,” day.

1. Darling of the social media scene Twitter just revealed some stats for its recent performance, and they’re pretty eye-popping: Over the first quarter of 2011 Twitter’s tweet-per-day count grew 41% globally, and 38% in the U.S. Meanwhile from December to March there was a 52% increase in monthly sign-ups, and 155 million tweets per day are going on, up from 55 million at the same time last year. 


2. Google has revealed plans to seriously revamp YouTube’s organization in a way that makes it more directly competitive to other online streaming video services and even Net TV systems. In the revamp the core YouTube structure will include around 20 “Channels” of content, each of which will sport the usual community-sourced video but also several hours of specially-produced content per week. To prove how serious Google is, they are spending over $100 million on the plan. 

3. Apple’s iPad is selling in a way that makes hot cakes seem slow…and now there’s a rumor that Apple’s supply chain purchases have resulted in a forced delay to RIM’s plans to enter the tablet market. The PlayBook’s arrival has been pushed back a month (so say insiders) because Apple had booked so much production volume at touchscreen manufacturing factories. A strange–but effective–way to beat your competitors.

4. According to people connected with the deal, Apple has very recently ordered 12 petabytes (that’s 12,000 terabytes) of hard drive storage from Isilon Systems, which is a professional data center-scale supplier that also serves companies like Sony. The huge volume of space is apparently destined to help Apple stream video over iTunes, which very much underlines all the rumors we’ve heard of a new cloud-based “locker” system that may be connected to a revamped MobileMe.

5. The first official Facebook phone is making its debut in the UK. Despite Facebook’s claims that there’s no such thing as a “Facebookphone,” the screenshots of the device reveal that its UI is extremely Facebook-centric with easy access to Places, Events and a prominent space for a live feed of status updates and new photos. This device probably won’t help the millions of students around the world who claim they’re addicted to their smartphones and feel anxious if they can’t access their phones or the Web.

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