Join us for Global Share the Bible Day

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?
  • The Christmas story. What’s your favorite part?
  • The Bible App. Tell people how they can get the Bible for free. (Hint: Send them to youversion.com/download.)

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.

How to Link Your YouVersion Account to Twitter and Facebook

Linking your free YouVersion account to your social networks makes it really simple to use the Bible App™ to share your thoughts about verses you’re reading. You always have control over what you share—no surprises in your Twitter or Facebook feed. Linking is an easy way to share your faith with your friends.

And setting it up is easy. It literally takes just about a minute. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Go to the YouVersion.com website.
  2. Sign in to your free YouVersion account or, if you don’t have one already, sign up for one.
    Note: If you have an existing Facebook account, you can sign up quickly with the “Sign up with Facebook” button.
    Sign up
  3. Top Right: Click your Username, then Settings.
    Settings
  4. Right: Select the Connected Accounts tab.
    Connected Accounts tab
  5. Twitter:
    • Select the Twitter tab.
    • Click the “Connect to your Twitter account” link.
      Note: If you’re not signed in, Twitter prompts you to sign in with your Twitter username and password.
    • Click [Allow]:
      Twitter Allow button
    • YouVersion connects your account to Twitter. (You can remove this connection at any time.)
  6. Facebook:
    • Select the Facebook tab.
    • Click the “Connect to your Facebook account” link.
      Note: If you’re not signed in, Facebook prompts you to sign in with your Facebook username and password.
    • Click [Allow].
    • YouVersion connects your account to Facebook. (You can remove this connection at any time.)

That’s it! You’re done, and you’re ready to let people know what you’re up to with YouVersion, anytime you feel like it, anywhere you are.

Vote for YouVersion in Mashable Awards

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.

The Bible App Made iTunes’ 2010 Top Ten!

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.”

Now Android Has Notes, Too!

Here at YouVersion, we want to make the Bible App as helpful as it can be on every mobile platform. That’s why today we’re pleased to announce: Notes are now ready for Android! (Available immediately.) If you’ve used notes before on YouVersion.com or on one of our other platforms, hopefully you already know how they work.

Here’s a quick primer:

  • Associate notes with a passage. Find the verse or passage you want to comment on and select it. When the options menu pops up, tap Notes. To add your note, tap Create New.
  • Add notes freely. You don’t have to tie a note to a passage. You can add a freeform note about anything you want. Just tap the Notes tab to get started.
  • Other things notes do. To post a note to Twitter or Facebook, open the note, tap menu, then tap “Share.” If you see a note that contains inappropriate content, select the note, tap menu, then tap “Report.” We’ll flag it and have a look at it for review.

When you’re adding a note, be sure you take a moment to indicate how you want to share it:

  • Draft. If your note still needs a little time to “gel” before you’re ready to share it, mark it as Draft. This keeps it private just to you, but you can tell it still needs work.
  • Private. No one else can see notes that you mark as Private. Most of us here at YouVersion use this feature primarily for journaling, collecting the things we sense that God is showing us in what we’re reading.
  • Public. Public notes are visible to everyone. Reading other people’s notes and then adding your own is one of the best ways to connect and share your Bible reading experience with others.
  • Publish on: Your note is basically marked as Private for now, then on the date you specify, its status will flip to Public.

TIP: You can change a note back and forth between the different categories at any time.

We’re so glad to be able to bring notes to the Bible App on your Android device. We still have lots more enhancements and features heading your way, but in the meantime, we hope you’ll take full advantage of all of the Bible tools you already have in your hands. We also hope you’ll use the Bible App’s connecting features to engage the other people in your circles of influence with the things that God is saying to you through His Word!

Mardel.com Features Bible App

Mardel, one of the largest Christian and Education supply stores in the U.S.,recently partnered with us to add a “Free Bible” page to their website (as seen on their home page below). This tool helps both Mardel and YouVersion fulfill our mutual vision to help people engage with the Bible as part of their everyday lives.

If you’d like to connect your website’s visitors with a free mobile Bible through YouVersion, we’d be happy to share with you how you can get your own Free Bible page. Even if you don’t have a big website, please check out this post to learn about the many simple, practical ways you can help spread the word about YouVersion. And be sure you connect with us on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep up with all the different ways to read and share God’s Word!

Notes: Finally, It’s iPhone’s Turn!

If you use the Bible App from YouVersion on your iPhone, then we imagine you might have watched with just the slightest twinge of envy as you’ve seen notes come to some of our other platforms. Your wait is over! As long as you’re signed in to your free YouVersion account, you’re ready to start adding notes:

  • General notes. You can add a note at any time, and it can be about anything. Simply tap the Notes tab.
  • Connected to a passage. Of course, you can link a note directly to a single verse. Just tap the verse you want to comment on, then tap Notes on the options menu that displays. To add yours, tap Create New. (You can even add additional verses—and remove verses—from their association with a note.)
  • Connect with community. “Share” any note to post it to Twitter or Facebook, “Like” a note to display it in a list of your favorite Notes on your profile on YouVersion.com, even “Report” a note to flag it as inappropriate.

Important! For any note you make: Give it a title, then mark whether you want to share it:

  • Draft. A note “in progress”—one that’s not quite ready for prime time.
  • Private. Only you will see this note. This is a great way to journal for yourself about the things that God is showing you in His Word.
  • Public. Your note will be visible by anyone. One of the greatest benefits of notes, public notes allow others to share in your journey through the Scriptures—and you in theirs.
  • Publish on: The note will be Private for now, but it will become Public on the date you specify.

TIP: You can change a note back and forth between the different sharing options at any time.

Many of you have been asking us to bring notes to the iPhone for a long time now, so of course we’re thrilled to be able to provide it for you. But this is still just the beginning. We’re really excited about all the continued advancements and improvements still to come. In the meantime, enjoy your Bible! And please share your experience with others!

The Bible App – now on Chrome!

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.

Partnership to Reach Spanish Speakers

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.)

You’re on a Roll!

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.