YouVersion Bible app accumulates over 500 million installs
The popular Bible mobile app YouVersion has racked up over 500 million installs after starting as one of 200 free apps in the iOS App Store in 2008.
The milestone was announcement Wednesday in a video of “verse du jour” by Craig Groeschel, the founding pastor of Life.Church, who created the app. He called this achievement “a testimony to the goodness of God and the power of his word.”
“To date, the YouVersion Bible app is now available on half a billion devices worldwide,” he said. “To celebrate this moment, our verse for the day is Hebrews 4:12, which says, ‘For the word of God is living and working. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates to divide soul and spirit, joints and marrow; he judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Bobby Gruenewald, the founder of the app, told the Christian Post in an interview on Thursday that before the platform was created, it was “below average” in terms of how long and how often it was played. Bible.
In hopes of changing this, YouVersion was first created as a website, hoping that this would increase its desire and the desire of others to read the Bible more consistently and attract an audience of readers from the Bible.
But, he said the website “failed” at first. Although it attracted a lot of attention, there was no continued interest in those who used the website.
Gruenewald said he and his team realized that the YouVersion website failed because it was not a mobile-friendly platform. Hoping to potentially retain a wider audience, they launched the YouVersion app in July 2008 as the only Bible app available when the App Store was created.
In the first weekend after the app’s release, the app generated 83,000 installs, a number Gruenewald didn’t expect to be reached for a year of launch.
“The whole ministry was about allowing me to read the Bible more because I always wanted to read the Bible more, and I thought there were probably more people in my situation,” said Gruenewald. “And, of course, we had no idea what would become of it. It started off simple and like a little effort.
“It’s extremely humbling to have reached 500 million downloads. Just the fact that God can do something so great through us, ”added Gruenewald. “It’s important that people understand that this is something God did, not us. We cannot take the credit for it. God did this through me, and it’s so crazy that God is using me. And there is much more that God will and can do in the future.
When the YouVersion app was first launched, the app was only available in two languages: English and Spanish.
Now there are over 1,750 languages in which the Bible can be read in the app. Since 2010, the app has allowed users to participate in Bible projects on different religious topics as well as read devotions and commentaries on the Scriptures.
In 2017, the app began allowing users to select “friends” to be part of the community with through the platform.
The app also offers a guided prayer feature which gives users guidance and support as they connect with the word of God.
In 2020, the app launched the ‘verse of the day’, which allows users to view new interactive video content on a daily basis focused on a different Bible verse.
Gruenewald said the most rewarding part of being involved with the app was witnessing the many lives that have been changed thanks to the platform.
He said his 10-year-old daughter recently downloaded the app and is working on a devotional plan with her friends.
He said the app feature called “streak,” which counts the days of app usage, has increased its usage in recent years. He currently has a streak of more than 1,560 days.
“The app has changed the way I read the Bible, which has impacted my family and the way I lead them,” the father of four admitted to CP. “I have heard many stories that have been reported about how the YouVersion app has helped people overcome severe depression, suicidal thoughts or saved their lives or restored their broken marriages and relationships.”
“God spoke to them through the app. Their eternity is changed, ”he added. “And it’s not the app, it’s the Bible that’s transformative.”
Gruenewald said he has high hopes for the future of the app and wants to keep adding new content areas. He said what people have seen of YouVersion so far is just the start of what’s to come.
“We have been in the process of expanding the functionality of the app to focus more on intimacy with God,” said Gruenewald. “The Bible is not the only path to intimacy with God, but there is also prayer, worship, generosity and community.”
“Over time, I have learned to think that a lot more is possible,” he continued. “And when we started, I never thought that would be the result.”