Hopefully by now, you know that we love the Bible at YouVersion. We want to make the Bible as visible as possible this Christmas to remind the world of its true meaning: the gift of God’s only Son. We’re declaring all day Saturday, December 25, “Global Share the Bible Day.” We’d love for you to join us!
Spread the word. Please start letting your friends and acquaintances know now what we’ll be up to together. Invite as many people to join us December 25 as you can. Use word of mouth and online conversation. But first, let’s sweeten the deal: As a little “extra” incentive to get the word out, we’re excited to be able to offer a few lucky winners who post it online their choice between an iPad, an iPhone 4, or a Nexus S! (Check here for details.)
Set some reminders. All day on December 25, take every opportunity to share anything you love about the Bible. Tweet. Update your Facebook status. Change your blog or website home page. Visit with someone you meet. Just share! Here are a few ideas for things you could share:
Your faith. What has God done in your life?
Your favorite verse. Why? What does it mean to you?
But these are only suggestions. Don’t stop there. Wherever you are on December 25, whatever you’re doing, share what’s special to you about the Bible. If you share online (especially Twitter), please include the hash tag #Bible. The Bible App makes it really easy to share. But remember: This isn’t about the Bible App. It’s all about the Bible.
On December 25, let’s draw as much attention as we can to the Bible—the story of God’s love for us.
YouVersion, and the Bible, has a great opportunity to gain some mainstream visibility through the 2010 Mashable Awards. Thanks to all of your votes already we’ve made it to the top five finalists in the Best Mobile User Experience category. Now, with only 14 hours left to vote, we want to finish strong with a solid showing of YouVersion’s massive fan base.
So, if you have about 30 seconds today, go to the Mashable Awards page and vote for YouVersion in the category of Best Mobile User Experience. Just choose “Best Mobile User Experience” from the left dropdown menu and “@YouVersion” from the right dropdown menu. It should look like this:
And to all of you that have already voted multiple times over the past several weeks, thank you! We hope that the increased visibility will result in more people finding God’s Word on their phone.
Every year, Apple announces the top 10 apps for the year in each category in the iTunes Store. This year, we’re thrilled to announce that the Bible App from YouVersion made the top 10 in the free Reference category! On both iPhone and iPad!
Apple’s lists don’t indicate rank. The above iPhone apps view shows the winners sorted by name. We’d also like to draw your attention to the Paul Avery Holy Bible app and Logos for iPad. Paul Avery’s Holy Bible made both lists, and Logos made the iPad list—and both are free Bible apps! How awesome is it that God’s Word claimed three of the top spots for free Reference apps in 2010?! (To discover more free Bible resources, check out this page we added to our website to highlight them.)
To see more of the lists, simply go to the iTunes Store and click the iTunes Rewind banner:
Look under the Apps section, and click on the “Check Out the Hot Trends in 2010 Apps” link for either iPhone or iPad, whichever one you’re interested in. Click the “Top Free” link, and then scroll to the Reference section and click “See All.”
Google’s Chrome Web Store is an online marketplace with tools and applications designed specifically for use with the Google Chrome OS and browser. If you have a Google Chrome device, come check out YouVersion’s page for the Bible App in the store!
At YouVersion, our driving vision has always been to make the Bible easily accessible—for free—to anyone, any time, anywhere. The Bible App is already the number one application for engaging with the Bible on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and webOS, with more than 11 million downloads so far. Now, when you download the free Bible App to your Chrome device, you’ll get all of its best-of-breed functionality—including more than 40 translations, in more than 20 languages, a growing list of reading plans, and connectivity to your social networks.
Recently we told you about the Bible App passing 11 million downloads. We’ve also shared how, so far, YouVersion users have spent more than 3.5 billion minutes reading the Bible. Of course we couldn’t be happier to see numbers like these. But there are some other numbers you should also know about. Recent polls indicated most people (more than 70%) felt it was important to know more about the Bible. But even among those people who said they thought they ought to read the Bible, most also admitted that they rarely do—with many even saying they didn’t read it at all.
Clearly, we need to make it even easier for people to engage with God’s Word. We need to get it into more hands. Today we’re pleased to announce a new partnership intended to do just that. The American Bible Society (ABS) is introducing an exciting campaign, called Descubre La Biblia, to promote Bible engagement within the Spanish-speaking community. As part of that plan, ABS is joining with YouVersion to launch the Bible App in Spanish, which will feature several of the world’s best-known Spanish Bible translations including the Reina Valera 1960.
If you have any friends who speak Spanish, we’d love for you to share the Bible App with them. To access YouVersion.com in Spanish, simply visit http://es.youversion.com/, or choose “Español” from the language selection box in the lower left corner of the site. (Users who already have Spanish (Español) selected as their language of choice on their device will automatically see the Bible App in Spanish.)
Thank you. In the two weeks since we shared the huge goal of reaching 1 billion minutes of Bible engagement in January 2011, YouVersion users have proven what we’ve known all along: you guys rock! You’ve gone above and beyond in responding to each of the ways you could help, and it is working as we see momentum building toward January.
11 million devices. Last week we passed another significant milestone: the Bible App has been installed on more than 11 million mobile devices! When you let others know about the Bible App, you’re introducing them to something that can help them hear from God no matter where they are.
Please keep voting for us at Mashable. We just got word about some more exciting news: your votes in the 4th Annual Mashable Awards propelled us into the final round! We are one of five finalists in our category: Best Mobile User Experience. Now the fun really starts We’re facing some stiff competition and the next round of voting lasts just two weeks, so we have until December 15 to stack up the votes. It would be awesome to see God’s Word take home the trophy at one of the top awards events in the tech community. We’d love for you to join us in voting daily!
Christmas Reading Plan starts today. Finally, we’ve got lots of things rolling out to make your Bible reading experience better and better. One we’re particularly excited about today is the launch of a Christmas Reading Plan. It’s a 25-day plan that will help you stay focused on what’s important this season. You can read through it on your own or share it with your family or small group.
We’re so thankful to share this season with you. The YouVersion community is the tops, and we appreciate your partnership in helping more and more people become captivated by God’s Word.
Here at YouVersion, we talk all the time about how much we love the Bible. You know what else we love? Hearing your stories about how much you love the Bible, and about what it’s meant in your lives. Today we’re going to hear from a Youth Pastor who wants to help his students connect with the Bible. He even installed more Wi-Fi hotspots around his church to make sure students there can always access it!
Our favorite quote:“Having it all accessible in one place, it’s like we’ve brought the Bible to them.”
If you haven’t noticed it already, you might soon see your icon for the Bible App just a little…differently. That’s because the next time a new update is available for your app, you’ll get our updated icon. Of course, YouVersion is still the same Bible App you know and, we hope, love.
Because of platform differences (like BlackBerry vs. say, iPad) our icons evolved slightly differently in different places. However, with the Bible App’s growing momentum, we thought it was perfect timing to unify the icon across all platforms.
Some people have asked why we didn’t go with a YouVersion icon. The answer is simple: to help people focus on the Bible instead of a brand. We wanted people to easily recognize the Bible when they see it in the app store and, more importantly, on their phone.
So, in the coming weeks and months, wherever you experience YouVersion—whether iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, webOS, or even in Facebook — you’ll see the new Bible App logo. It’s one small tweak that we hope will help even more people open up God’s Word.
It can be hard not to get swept up in all the chaos of the Christmas season: Parties, travel, food, guests coming into town, and of course, shopping, shopping, shopping! For many of us, even if we take a moment to really think about what Christmas truly means to us, we might express it as “having your loved ones close,” or “family traditions,” or “peace, love, and joy.”
While certainly there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the people that we love, Christmas is about so much more than emotion, sentimentality, and giving and receiving gifts. First and foremost, it’s about Jesus. It’s about the greatest gift that mankind ever received, when the One Creator of the universe sent His only Son, knowing that that baby would one day grow into the man who would sacrifice Himself to redeem our lives.
What’s most important to us at YouVersion is helping people engage with the Bible. To give you opportunities to interact with God’s Word in fresh ways, we offer several different reading plans, which are great tools to help you read through the whole Bible, or just portions of it. We recently added a special Christmas Reading Plan: “Rediscovering the Christmas Season.” If you start this plan on December 1, you can experience the true Christmas story—direct from the source, along with supporting material to help you understand its significance—just in time for Christmas Day. (But don’t wait…You can get started right now!)
Decide to dedicate just a few minutes each day for the coming month to remember what Christmas is truly about.
Here in the U.S., on the fourth Thursday of each November, we celebrate a national holiday called Thanksgiving Day. Historically, Thanksgiving was considered a religious holiday for people to express gratitude and appreciation to God for providing them with a bountiful harvest season. Today, all of us at YouVersion would like to take just a moment to share with you some of the things we’re thankful for:
Our partners, publishers, and donors. Many dedicated people have committed time and resources to join us in fulfilling our vision: making the Bible available to as many people as possible, and helping them connect with it. We couldn’t do that without these people and organizations.
Our users, and especially our volunteers. YouVersion is for you. And your feedback and passion have propelled the Bible App even further in helping people fall in love with God’s Word. Thanks especially to those of you who have devoted your time, your energy, and your abilities to helping us make it all work. There’s no way we could cover the ground we do without you.
This time that we live in. We’re convinced that this period in human history offers us opportunities unlike any this planet has ever seen: connection, interaction, and genuine global community. We believe that technology—whether we’re talking computers, communication, travel, whatever—makes it possible that we could actually see the Great Commission fulfilled in our lifetime.
A God who truly loves us. God has given us the opportunity to know Him and to hear His voice, especially when He speaks to us through His Word. We love the Bible because we love Him. And we’re deeply thankful to Him for the community He has brought to YouVersion—especially you!