The mobile Bible app YouVersion reported celebrated having 500 million installations this week, calling it a sign that "God is actively at work" in the lives of people today.
According to the Christian Headlines, YouVersion celebrated their milestone this week for reaching 500 million downloads since it was launched 13 years ago in 2008 at the iOS App Store. The milestone makes YouVersion the only Christian app to achieve such a record.
YouVersion is a mobile app that offers not only the ability to read the Bible according to a suitable version to one's Christian denomination, it also allows users to create a community in it to discuss reflections on Bible verses or undertake a "Challenge" together.
The "Challenge" is thematic and can range from a Bible topic to a particular virtue for reflection, among others. Challenges are taken daily and provides videos that give further reflection on the chosen theme or Bible verse.
Members can also create "Bookmarks" on Bible verses so they can return to it and further reflect on it, as well as, create beautiful graphics from available templates on Bible verses and share it in the app and in other social media platforms.
As per YouVersion's website, there are currently 327,727,525 bookmarks created, 636,219,302 Bible verses highlighted, 399,908,252 Bible Plans or "Challenges" completed, and 686,755,815,890 Bible text read as of this article's writing.
When it was launched in 2008, YouVersion was one among 200 free apps of the iOS App Store but eventually became the most-downloaded Bible app for the iPhone when it grew in popularity--roughly between 2007 and 2010 when iPad was debuted.
Life.Church, the creator of YouVersion, said there have been 64 billion Bible chapters from their app that have "been read or listened to" in 2021, which is an increase by 21% to that recorded in 2020 and 56% increase to that of 2019's. This increase is said to come from the 500 million unique devices that have installed the YouVersion app this year.
YouVersion Founder Bobby Gruenewald said in an interview with Christian Headlines that the numbers reveal a powerful statement against claims that the Bible has become "irrelevant" today and shows the Bible's power of transforming lives that the app provides.
"While some people claim the Bible is irrelevant and Scripture engagement is declining, these 500 million installs indicate otherwise. The Bible continues to be relevant and has the power to transform lives. That's why we're excited to celebrate this milestone. Not just because it's a big number, but because each install represents a chance for someone to go deeper in their faith and grow closer to God," Gruenewald said.
He added that the modifications they have made in the app over the years show the endless "possibilities" God does as YouVersion's users have grown globally and touching "millions of lives." He highlighted that the app is already available in 1,760 languages for its 2,600 versions of the Bible, a feat made possible through partnerships with various Bible societies and publishers.
"Throughout the last several years, we have continually seen God do more than we could imagine through YouVersion. As the app has grown exponentially to reach people in every country of the world and change millions of lives, our faith has also grown to see new possibilities," Gruenewald revealed.
Gruenewald then revealed plans for 2022 with new things in store for the mobile app and a goal for its installations now earmarked at 1 billion.
"We believe this is just the beginning for YouVersion. We have a fresh vision for where the Bible App is headed, and we're excited to roll out new features in 2022 to better serve pastors and church leaders," he disclosed.