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Apps to the Future: The New Social Network Engagers
This piece on three social network engagers is a sidebar to Robert Crosby's "The Social Network Gospel."
Bobby Gruenewald | Founder, YouVersion
YouVersion (YV) is the fastest-growing Bible app for mobile devices in the world, with over 50 million users and gaining about 3 million per month. No wonder Bobby Gruenewald's official title at LifeChurch.tv is "Innovation Leader." And no wonder Fast Company named him one of its "100 Most Creative People in Business for 2011."
When he learned in early 2008 that Apple was planning an App Store, Gruenewald and his de-velopment team created an app simply called "Bible." It launched the day the App Store opened (July 11, 2008). Gruenewald was hoping for 80,000 users by the end of the year; they got 83,000 in three days. Today, YV (YouVersion.com) gives access to the Bible in 160 versions in 51 languages; Korean is the second largest language of use. Recently, the 1 millionth reading plan was completed online. A team of 14 full-time workers and 500 active volunteers support the site.
Gruenewald says he and his team were "the most unlikely people to do this. When we started, we didn't even know you had to license the various Bible translations to use them online." But today, "we hear story after story of people who are reading the Bible all the way through. They are using the Bible app to share the gospel with others. Pastors tell us it is helping their churches stay engaged with the Bible between Sundays."
He hopes soon to see "half a billion users and 1 billion minutes of use per day. There are more people alive now than at any point in history, and they are more connected than ever before. We believe that this could become the most Bible-engaged generation in history. I want to leverage ...1