YouVersion Bible App reached its 100 million downloads milestone Sunday evening. Just five years ago, it was among the first 200 apps available on iTunes, but today there are over 900,000 available. For three consecutive years, Apple has ranked the Bible App, available for virtually every mobile device, among the top 100 free apps.
The pastor who came up with the idea of using technology to make the Bible more accessible on smart phones and tablets said he initially hoped for 80,000 downloads in the first six months. That goal was met during the first weekend the Bible App was released.
Pastor Bobby Gruenewald of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma told The Christian Post, “The most exciting part about hitting 100 million installs is that it’s just the beginning … time and time again we’ve seen God use milestones like this to fuel exponential growth. In fact, we hit 50 million installs just 14 months ago in May 2012. We know there’s so much more God wants to do to get people engaged in this Word, and we truly believe it starts with 100 million.”
Over 500+ versions of the Bible in 300+ languages were provided by publishers and Bible socities to Youversion Bible App for free. In addition, hundreds of committed volunteers enabled YouVersion’s 20+ staff members to “provided world-class customer service for an app at no charge,” he said.
In the first survey to YouVersion's subscribers, world’s largest digital Bible-reading community, more than 77 percent of respondents read the Bible more frequently because of easy accessibility. Nearly a third used the Bible App at work, in addition to 81 percent at home, 60 percent at church and 55 percent “on the go.”
YouVersion disclosed to The Christian Post that another tracking research showed that more than 31 million shared Bible verses via Twitter, Facebook, email and text in 2012; the three most shared verses were Isaiah 53:5, Hebrews 4:15 and Matthew 7:7.
Based upon this research, the team at LifeChurch.tv is launching a new social feature that will further segment the Bible App’s services to better cater the connectivity between users according to their individual contexts. The new feature will allow readers to “learn from what their friends are learning, discover new insights, and explore what passage mean in conversation with people they are close to,” said Gruenewald, according to The Christian Post.
Meanwhile, new initiatives of the Bible App will reach out to new demographics, including the Catholics by including the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE), which is one of the most popular Catholic versions of the Bible, and children ages 4 to 10, which will provide interactive and fun games and stories.