2011 was a big year for Bible engagement in the YouVersion community. One of the ways we did that was by creating tens of millions of bookmarks. A bookmark is a great way to keep track of a verse you want to return to again and again, whether it’s because you want to memorize it, you want to share it with a friend, or simply because it’s one of your favorites. Here are the top 10 bookmarks that the YouVersion community saved during 2011*:
*Although YouVersion also tracks which version of the Bible you’re viewing when you save a bookmark, this list is just the top 10 bookmarks, regardless of version. The versions we link to here are simply to give you a sense of the variety that’s possible in how you connect with God’s Word using the Bible App. YouVersion presently offers more than 200 different translations of the Bible, in 75 languages.
What’s a great way to celebrate the birth of our Savior? According to the worldwide YouVersion community, the answer for Christmas Day 2011 was, “Share the Bible!” Together we gave away more free Bibles and helped more people connect to God’s Word through free YouVersion accounts than on any other single day in YouVersion’s history.
The November webcast was the first time we mentioned The Other 16 — that 16 out of 17 iOS and Android devices hadn’t installed the Bible App. Then together we shared the Bible on Christmas Day, telling others our favorite things about God’s Word, even helping friends and family install the Bible App™ on their devices. And the results are in:
It took just 5 and a half days for the Bible App to be installed on 1 million new devices. (During this same Share the Bible period in 2010, it took us 11 days to reach 1 million.) By the end of December 28, we were already at 940,000, accumulating our next 60,000 in the first half of December 29—almost exactly half the time it took to reach a million during that same period in 2010.
Many apps for mobile devices won’t see 300,000 installs total — let alone on a single day. But because of you, more and more people are discovering God’s Word, joining with us in a revolution of Bible engagement. Thank you for your part in making Global Share the Bible Day such a record-breaking success!
Nothing compares with completing something truly worthwhile. And one million times since we first introduced Reading Plans, many of you have experienced that exact feeling, as together, the YouVersion community completed more than one million Reading Plans.
If you haven’t already discovered how much Reading Plans can revolutionize the time you spend in God’s Word, what are you waiting for? No more excuses in 2012! You now have more than 220 unique Reading Plans just waiting for you to explore in the Bible App and at YouVersion.com—in more than 10 languages! (With many more new plans still to come.)
Consider committing to at least one of the following popular Reading Plans to help you—once and for all—establish that Bible-reading habit you’ve been promising yourself:
Experiencing God’s Renewal. God’s Word has a lot to say about the ways He renews our hearts, minds, and body—and even our purpose. Besides a passage from the Bible, each day also includes a brief devotional to help you experience God’s renewal in your life. Publisher: LifeChurch.tv. 5 days
The Essential 100. Using a survey approach, the Essential 100 helps you see the big picture of God’s Word as you read through 50 Old Testament passages and 50 New Testament passages. Reading The Essential 100 will help you form a daily Bible-reading habit as it takes you “through the Bible.” Publisher: Scripture Union. 100 days
The One-Year ® Bible. In as little as 15 minutes a day, you can discover insights and fulfillment as you read through the entire Bible. Experience for yourself why Tyndale’s “The One Year ® Bible” is the world’s most popular annual reading Bible. Each day’s reading contains select passages from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Publisher: Tyndale Publishing. 365 days
Are you listening? Do you have ears to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying? Give God the opportunity to speak into your life every day, whether it’s through reading or listening to His Word. We can’t wait to see what God will do in your life in 2012 as you commit to giving Him just a portion of each day!
Merry Christmas! Please join us today as together we not only celebrate the birth of our Savior, but also share the joy of the gift of His Word. YouVersion is what it is because of you, the worldwide YouVersion community. God has already used your passion and the Bible App™ to reach more people than we ever could have imagined. Even so, we believe it’s still just the beginning.
Last year we started the annual tradition of Global Share the Bible Day, a day when we take every opportunity to share the Bible with others. Whether it’s face to face, through your Facebook status or your Twitter feed, or even on your blog, every time you think of it today, please tell others what you love about the Bible.
What to Share? Here Are Some Ideas:
Share the Bible Day. Let others know what the YouVersion community is doing:
These are just a few suggestions to help get you started. But of course Global Share the Bible Day is about how the Bible is special to you. The Bible App makes it easy: Visit our Technical Support website to learn you can how to link your free YouVersion account to your Facebook and Twitter. Just select your preferred language at the bottom, your device type on the left, and then look under “Sharing.” (And when you share online, please remember to include the hash tag #Bible.)
We’re excited to get to spend Christmas Day with you, drawing as much attention as we can today to God’s story of love for us—the Bible!
Having the opportunity to engage with God’s Word in your own heart language is one of the most powerful ways you can experience it. YouVersion would never be able to practically translate the Bible into all of the many languages people ask us to. We’re fortunate to be able to partner with Bible publishers and societies from around the world, organizations who graciously join with us to make their translations of the Bible freely available to our YouVersion community.
As you might imagine, translating the many different pieces of the global YouVersion experience—interfaces, menus, websites, blogs, tech support, and more—is a huge undertaking. That’s why we thank God every day for our passionate community of extraordinary volunteers. Thanks to them, we’ve already seen YouVersion translated from English into Norwegian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Dutch—and of course now into French! We couldn’t do what we do without the help of these amazing people.
Generous partners have provided the YouVersion community with several beautiful translations of the Scriptures into French, with more still to come:
Bible Segond 21 (S21). Offered by the Geneva Bible Society, the Segond 21 required 12 years of translation from original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, while also incorporating more recently available research. Billed as “the original with the words of today,” it’s been a top-selling Bible among French speakers—even making an appearance in the top 200 books sold at Amazon France!
La Bible Du Semeur (BDS). Provided by the International Bible Society (now Biblica), La Bible Du Semeur was translated from the original Biblical languages using a thought-for-thought, meaning-based philosophy. Completed in 1999, the BDS presents the Scriptures in contemporary, easy-to-read informal French.
Wonderful French translations are critical to helping French readers and speakers engage with the Bible, but that’s just one part of YouVersion. Bible App users also need to be able to read its controls, buttons, and menus. People passionate about sharing God’s Word, gifted in translation, volunteer to make all of these tools just as accessible for French users. We never stop making the Bible App better, so there’s always translation to do. And now that we’re offering technical support in French for requests which come to us through email, there’s even more to do. We deeply appreciate our French-speaking volunteer community, so we’d love to get more help for them. If you can assist with any French translation—particularly in responding to requests on Facebook or Twitter—please join us. We need you!
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to help YouVersion reach the world, we asked a few of our awesome French language volunteers to share their experiences with you:
“I was involved in translation at church and in other areas, when I received YouVersion’s email requesting volunteers. I saw the opportunity to sow in a ministry that was helping me so much through the Bible App, so I jumped straight in! Volunteering with YouVersion has connected me to Christians from different parts of the globe, interacting, working, and learning together while having the opportunity to bless people we don’t even know. This is an awesome privilege!”
—Ramelle S., Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, France
“I stumbled upon YouVersion while searching for a Bible App. I fell in love with how simple it was to connect with God’s Word on a daily basis. Then I noticed an invitation to become a volunteer. How thrilled I was to see that I could be part of the translating team, and use this ability with language to help people just like me engage with God! This opportunity is truly a rewarding and blessed experience.”
—Vanessa R., Montreal, Canada
“I began volunteering for YouVersion a few months ago under the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This ministry is so fulfilling because I know it is impacting many people all around the world.”
—Maria-Rosa C., South Jordan, Utah, USA
“The Bible App has been very strategic in my walk with Christ. I am able to tap into Reading Plans and just rest in God’s grace as I read His Word. It was important to me that I share with others by volunteering my time, skills, and talents. It is humbling to know that I am part of a team that comes together to help others out of love and obedience to the Lord. Each day in the Lord is a journey in service—serving God and others. Volunteering at YouVersion is a daily reminder to me of that.”
—Vera S., Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Every December, Apple announces the top apps in each category in the iTunes Store for the entire year. For 2011, in the free Reference category, the Bible App™ from YouVersion was #33 on iPhone and #100 on iPad! Just to offer a little perspective, Apple recently announced that it’s seen more than 18 billion downloads go through the Apple App Store. And there are currently more than 520,000 different apps there.
If you don’t already have the Bible App on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, why don’t you give it a try? (It’s always 100% free.) And if you do already have the Bible App—especially if you haven’t found The Other 16 yet—you might consider bringing up Apple’s Rewind 2011 as a way to share about it. Mentioning that the Bible App was one of the best apps of the year is a great conversation starter!
If you’d like to see all of the top apps mentioned in Rewind, just visit the iTunes Store and click the Rewind 2011 button scrolling through the top menu:
Brand-new Version 3.7* of the Bible App for Android is in the Android App Market now. While we’ve fixed some bugs in this update, more importantly, we’ve brought you several great new features:
Reading Plan Reminders. Schedule the Bible App to pop up your Reading Plan whenever it’s most convenient for you.
User Profile View. Coming for the first time to the Bible App for Android, now you can work with your account settings all in one place—name, profile image, contact information, and more. You can even browse your Friends’ profiles and the profiles of people who are following you.
More Privacy Controls. When people view your profile, you can control whether they can see the reading plan(s) you’re subscribed to.
Better Language Support. We’ve improved the way Bible text displays for Greek, Armenian, Khmer, and Bengali.
We’ve even integrated a few commonly-used features directly into the Bible App, previously available only through the YouVersion.com website:
Password Reminder. If you forget your YouVersion password, you can have the Bible App send a message to your email of record to help you reset it.
Password Change. Change your password from right inside in the Bible App.
Notification Preferences. Tell YouVersion which of your account actions you want to trigger messages to you.
Spread the word! The Bible App for Android makes it easy to share your journey through the Bible with your friends—from inside the app—whether you’re posting to Facebook or Twitter, or sending an email or text. Consider showing your friends the Bible App on your device, or even offering to help them install it on theirs. A new release of the Bible App can be a great conversation starter!
*This release supports Android version 1.6 and higher, as well as Apps2SD.
For the first time ever, every part of YouVersion is now available completely in French: the interfaces at YouVersion.com and in the Bible App™, technical support, communication, Bibles, and so much more. Of course, French has been available at YouVersion.com for some time now, but that’s just one small part of what YouVersion has to offer.
French Menus, Buttons and Controls. Our incredible YouVersion volunteers have been working behind the scenes for months to translate the entire YouVersion user interface into French for your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Android, or BlackBerry device. All you need to do is set your device’s default language to French. Or, if you have the latest Bible App for iOS update, you can change the interface language in your Bible App Settings.
Communication in French. Français is one of several languages you can select at the top right of the English version of our blog—or just go directly to the French version. Either way, you’ll find blog posts specifically for you, written in French. To ensure that you receive updates and other YouVersion communication in French, you’ll need a free YouVersion account, then visit Settings at YouVersion.com and select Français as your preferred language.
French Technical Support. If you have any questions about YouVersion.com or the Bible App, try checking the French version of our Technical Support site. If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, contact us in French, and French-speaking YouVersion support volunteers will be happy to respond to you.
YouVersion’s ongoing mission is to make the Bible freely available to as many people as possible, no matter where they live or what language they prefer. Because the French language serves so many people all over the world, we’re thrilled to bring the whole YouVersion experience to French speakers, no matter where they call home:
French Speakers in France. According to The World Factbook, 62.8 million people live in France, making it the 21st most populous nation in the world. While France’s entire population speaks French, according to Wikipedia, French is actually the first language for many more people, as well—somewhere between 70 million and 110 million—with another 190 million beyond that claiming French as a second language.
French Speakers Around the Globe. Outside France, French is the native language of Monaco, Switzerland’s Romandy region, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, and Quebec and Acadia in Canada, as well as various other communities around the world. French is the second most common language in Canada, federally recognized as an “official” national language. And variations and different dialects of French are spoken in countries literally all over the planet.
Welcome to the YouVersion Family! We’re excited to welcome our newest friends, French speakers and readers, no matter where you live. In a few days, we’ll share more details on our blog about more that we have to offer you. In the meantime, we’d love for you to get started connecting with the YouVersion community on Facebook and Twitter. We’re so glad that you’re here!
Release 3.7 of the Bible App™ for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is available now in the iTunes App Store. We’re introducing two convenient new features in this latest release:
User Profile View. Now for the first time, you’ll be able to review and change your account settings all in one place—like your name, your avatar image, your contact information, and more. You can even browse your Friends’ profiles, and the profiles of people who are following you.
Sign Up With Google. If you already have a Google account, you can sign up for your free YouVersion account using your Google login, right inside the Bible App. This makes creating your account one simple step, since you won’t need to verify your email address.
We value your feedback! When the YouVersion community reports issues to us—whether through our Support website, Facebook, or Twitter—we try to investigate each one, prioritizing them according to which ones are affecting the most users. For example, here are the main challenges we’ve fixed in release 3.7 of the Bible App for iOS:
Language Change. When you changed languages in your Bible App Settings before, it could cause the app to crash.
Residual Popups. Sometimes on iOS 5, when a message popped up (such as from a launcher notification), you couldn’t make it go away.
Long Book or Chapter Display (iPad). When trying to select from books with more than 30 chapters, or from chapters with more than 30 verses, the iPad wasn’t correctly displaying all of them.
Main Reader View Distorted (iPhone). When you received a call or if you used your iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, the notification slide-in was compressing the main Bible Reader view.
Get Your Update Now:
If you already have the Bible App installed:
On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
When the App Store opens, tap the Updates icon.
Tap Update for the Bible App.
Tap Update All.
If this is your first time installing the Bible App:
It was so exciting to get together with thousands of our closest friends during our live webcast yesterday! We don’t take for granted all that God has done through YouVersion—and especially what He has done through you, the worldwide YouVersion community. It was a rare treat having the opportunity to address your great questions from #YouVersion on Twitter. (Sorry we couldn’t get to every one!) Thanks to your participation, #YouVersion even became a trending topic worldwide on Twitter!
If you missed joining with us live, we’ve put together a list of some of the high points for you, along with the complete event video:
Installs. In November of 2010, the Bible App™ was installed on 10 million unique devices. As of today’s webcast, it’s now been installed on more than 34 million. That represents 2 million installs… per month.
Bible Languages. We want to make the Bible freely available to as many people as possible, no matter where they live or what language they prefer. In November 2010, we offered Bible translations in 22 different languages. As of today’s webcast, we now have Bible translations in 61 different languages.
Bible Versions. When YouVersion first launched in 2008, we offered just 12 versions of the Bible. A year ago, YouVersion had 48 different versions of the Bible for to you to choose from. As of today’s webcast, YouVersion now brings you 187 versions. And more are on the way. Within the next few weeks, we’ll pass the 200 mark.
Reading Plans. As of today’s webcast, 52 partners are graciously providing the YouVersion community with more than 200 different reading plans, in many different languages. By the end of 2011, we expect to increase that number to 220.
Volunteers. Everything we do is accelerated through the passionate dedication of hundreds of volunteers, devoting themselves to serving the YouVersion community from literally all over the world. Our small team could never reach the numbers of people that we reach in partnership with you. If you’d like to see the many ways you can help, learn more at our brand-new volunteer website.
In a Minute. During the average minute: the Bible App is installed on 52 unique devices, 1,698 people open the Bible App to read the Bible, and people share 21 different passages on either Facebook or Twitter. And these are just a few examples. To help you really see how the Bible App serves the YouVersion community, we’ve prepared a comprehensive infographic that breaks down many of the different things that happen in the Bible App during just one minute.
Resources for Pastors and Churches. If you’d like to help the people in your church connect with the Bible more, we’ve created several tips, explanations, and tools you can use to help those in your circles better understand what the Bible App is, what it has to offer, and how easy it is to get.
Still to Come… We’re comprehensively updating YouVersion.com, working to make its feature set more consistent with what you’ve become accustomed to in the Bible App. If you have a free YouVersion account, we’d love for you to take a look at the beta version and let us know what you think. (Please understand: The beta is still very much a work in progress, and this is a limited-time offer. Don’t move all of your Bible engagement to this beta version!)
We never stop working on making the Bible App easier to use to connect with the Bible every day—more reading plans, more Bible versions, more devices, more robust tools, more of everything. Still, the most common request we hear is to make the Bible App easier to use as part of a group, so we’re adding community-oriented features to help you engage together. You should see an update to the Bible App for Android this week, and an update to the iPhone version soon. Both will allow you to view your friends’ profiles and connect more with your community.
Later we plan to add features that will allow you to set reminders to help you remember to get in your reading plan, and even to receive your reading plan selections through a daily email. As always, you’re in complete control of your YouVersion experience—you choose how you want to interact with the Bible App.
The Other 16. One in every 17 iOS devices (Apple iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches) already have the Bible App installed. And, one in 17 Android devices have also already installed the Bible App. That means that on each of these platforms, there are 16 people who still haven’t installed it on their device. But you can help! When you meet someone with a smart phone or mobile device, ask them if they have the Bible on it. And if they don’t, consider offering to help them install the Bible App. (Remember: It’s always completely free.) We’re working on a new tool that will give you an easy way to tell us about your 16. When you use it, we’ll send you a free t-shirt and some Bible App stickers.
What Can You Do?
Engage. Is the Bible a part of your everyday life? If you haven’t already been using Reading Plans, consider signing up for your free YouVersion account and trying one. Reading Plans divide up the Bible into manageable portions, making them a great way you can establish—and keep!—a daily habit of spending time in God’s Word.
Share. Share the Bible App and YouVersion with others. Help the other 16 find what you’ve already discovered for yourself!
Join. The entire YouVersion community is powered by the passion of volunteers. Join us as together we pursue the vision of reaching the entire world with God’s Word. Even with the extraordinary volunteer community already partnering with YouVersion, it’s just not enough. We need literally thousands more. Please come and share your passion with us.
Give Thanks. Look up your favorite Bible version in the Bible App. Go to any page of the Bible in the reader, scroll to the bottom, and look at the information about the organization who makes that version available. Please contact them to express your gratitude for their generosity—and perhaps even consider supporting their work financially. We couldn’t do what we do without them!