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This article was published on November 16, 2010

The YouVersion Bible: 2 years, 10 million downloads, 0 advertising.

The YouVersion Bible: 2 years, 10 million downloads, 0 advertising.

It isn’t often that we’ll talk about religion, politics or things that can otherwise start arguments that don’t count as fanboyism. However, when a service gains 10 million downloads without ever advertising, that’s a pretty strong social media story in our book.

YouVersion is a simple thing – a bible. It can be downloaded to a number of different platforms, it’s available in a myriad of translations and has a community that surrounds the application and the website. Presently, the app gets downloaded at the rate of over 1 million new users every month and has kept itself in the top 5 download apps for the Reference category of the App Store.

So how does YouVersion manage things? The power of people, it seems. The company credits its success greatly to the social sharing of the YouVersion community:

…whether through tweets about a certain passage, Facebook status updates about reading goals or meaningful pictures and videos attached to specific passages. Over half a million passages have been tweeted through the YouVersion app.

Its other not-so-secret secret? the fact that it’s available in 40 different versions across 20 languages. Oh, and it also doesn’t hurt that YouVersion can be had on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Symbian, Windows or any web-enabled phone.

Rounding out the announcement of the 10 million downloads, YouVersion has put together a spiffy infographic that gives some pretty interesting information about the versions that are most used, how the downloads happened and much more.

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s perhaps in the fact that social media and application success isn’t always a result of great advertising. Sometimes you just have to work a bit harder to make your product more available to the masses.

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