By Aaron Earls
The Bible has been there since the beginning.
When Apple’s App Store first launched in 2008, iPhone users could choose from 500 options. Today, that number has ballooned to more than 2 million. But one constant over the last 10 years has been YouVersion’s Bible App.
One of the 200 free apps available on July 10, 2008, the Bible App has experienced exponential growth in the decade since.
In the first three days after its launch in 2008, the Bible App was installed 83,000 times. By 2010, it reached 10 million installs. In 2010, it climbed to 50 million. And it doubled to 100 million the very next year.
After the App Store opened, other Bible apps and Bible study tools have become available for your smartphone, but YouVersion’s has remained the most prominent.
Today, YouVersion says the Bible App has been installed on more than 300 million unique devices. In addition to the Apple iPhone, YouVersion’s app is also available today for Android phones, BlackBerries, and Windows phones, as well as Amazon Kindles and Echoes.
“We never could have predicted the results we’ve seen as millions of people around the world have read, listened to, shared, and interacted with the Bible and each other in new ways,” says Bobby Gruenewald, YouVersion founder and pastor at Life.Church.
In the last decade, according to YouVersion, Bible App users have read 70 billion and listened to 12 billion chapters of the Bible; made 4 billion highlights, bookmarks and notes; shared more than 950 million verses to social media; and completed 2.4 billion days of Bible reading plans.
“Early on, we discovered that proximity helped us engage with the Bible,” says Gruenewald. “As soon as I had access to the Bible on the phone that’s always in my pocket, my connection to it naturally became more frequent.”
When it launched, the app had 15 versions of the Bible and two languages. Today, after partnerships with publishers and Bible societies, Scripture is available in more than 1,700 different versions and more than 1,200 languages.
“These last 10 years have been more than we could ask, think, or imagine, and we believe this is only the beginning,” Gruenewald says. “As we look ahead, we’re excited about the new ways God is using technology to help make even more connections between the Bible and their daily lives.”
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AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.