Sight Magazine – YouVersion Bible app becomes first faith-based app to reach 500 million installs
- JILLIAN CHENEY
Bible application YouVersion has been installed on more than 500 million devices worldwide since its launch in 2008, the creators said on Wednesday. It is the first denominational application to reach this number.
YouVersion reported that its users read or listened to approximately 64 billion chapters of the Bible on the app this year. This is a significant increase from the past two years – 52 billion in 2020 and 41 billion in 2019. YouVersion attributes the growth to a growing shift towards online worship and the app’s community orientation.
Someone using the YouVersion Bible app. IMAGE: Courtesy of YouVersion.
“We hear amazing stories from our YouVersion community about what prompted them to open the app and how the Bible has transformed their lives,” said Brian Russell, Director of YouVersion. ReligionUnplugged. “Often times, they are looking for help to fight anxiety, break an addiction or save a relationship.”
YouVersion contains over 2,600 versions of the Bible, including translations into 1,760 languages, a number that increases as new translations are completed. One of the goals of the creators of YouVersion is to make the Bible accessible to everyone.
It also includes an understanding of online spaces and a desire to foster community there. Rather than appearing like a Bible textbook transferred to a phone screen, YouVersion’s interface presents itself as a platform designed for worship and spiritual growth. The Bible is naturally one of them.
YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald spoke with ReligionUnplugged.com in June on the ways his church, Church life, worked to make virtual worship possible and popular.
Life.Church, based in Oklahoma City, launched a fully virtual church campus in 2006. In terms of online church services, they were way ahead of the curve. Likewise, when YouVersion launched in 2008, it was one of the first 200 free apps in Apple’s App Store.
The team’s dedication to technology and the anticipation of the growth of mobile applications have helped build a successful platform, and it remains successful with that same eye for innovation and care. the Christian community.
The YouVersion app is a Virtual Bible, Audiobook, Prayer Journal, Highlighter, Bible Study Tool, Podcast Platform, Daily Devotion and Social Platform all in one. At the most basic level, it is possible to highlight, bookmark, and take notes on verses – much like a physical Bible.
But there are also ways to connect with friends and share ideas with them. Reading plans include structured devotional topics, from marriage to anxiety. A daily verse, displayed on the homepage, is presented in a handful of ready-made graphics that are aesthetically pleasing to share through text, email, and social platforms.
“We are passionate about helping people experience the scriptures in the context of community, because we recognize it is a way to help people dive deeper into the Bible and come closer to God ” Russell said. “For example, Plans with Friends allows people to connect in the app with a group of trusted friends to discuss, reflect, encourage, and ask questions about what they read in the Bible.”
It is these features, 13 years after the launch of the application, which mark its success as a faith community and explain its appeal.
Next year, YouVersion plans to grow by adding more resources for pastors and church leaders.
Its success also seems to suggest truths about the future of virtual worship. People are looking for a faith community, whether it’s in a church building or on an app.