EDMOND, OK (November 17, 2010) – Ten million people have downloaded the YouVersion Bible application and its publisher, LifeChurch.tv, celebrated the achievement Tuesday with a webcast during which they announced their goal of getting people around the world to spend 1 billion minutes using it during the month of January.
The goal is “God-sized,” says Bobby Gruenewald, pastor-innovation leader of LifeChurch.tv, an Evangelical Covenant Church congregation with multiple worship sites across the country. The church launched the YouVersion app on iTunes in 2008.
YouVersion is now available on nine platforms. It makes multiple versions of the Bible available and users can add their own notes and share information through Twitter and Facebook.
According to the church, someone is downloading the application every 2.8 seconds, while another 12 individuals are opening the application at the same time. The median number of active users is around 3.2 million per month. The YouVersion Bible, which also is available online, has been read more than 3.5 billion minutes, Gruenewald notes.
There were 100,000 downloads this past Saturday and Sunday, one of the highest spikes in downloads since the app was made available. More than 50,000 people have given it a five-star rating.
Gruenewald said the church constantly is seeking ways to help faith and technology intersect. Like much of the multi-media material LifeChurch.tv makes available to church, the app is free.
The church first created a mobile website during Spring 2008. The number of people using the site rose dramatically. The staff noticed they also were using the Bible more because it always was available on their phones.
At the time, the application was a “side project” of the church with no staff assigned to its development. When it was released in July 2008, they still had no idea how widely it would be used.
Digerati Pastor Terry Storch said the team would have been ecstatic if 60,000 people used the app. They reached that number during the first three days following its release. YouVersion became more than a side project. Today there are 8.5 full time equivalent staff working on the project – more than 200 volunteers also are assisting.
New features to be released in coming weeks include the ability to take notes and providing a broader spectrum of reading plans.