Hooked Model Examples: The Bible App

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "Hooked" by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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What does the Hooked model look like in action? What can you learn from Hooked model examples?

Hooked model examples show how creating habits keeps customers around. The Bible app is an example of the Hooked model at work and uses triggers, actions, rewards, and investments.

Read more about one of the key Hooked model examples: the Bible app.

What Is One of the Hooked Model Examples?

Having understood the model of building habits, we can now dive into a single business as one of the Hooked model examples.

The Bible App is the leading Bible app that allows users to study the Bible, providing daily snippets and reading plans as well as the full Bible text. Founded by a pastor and owned by a church group, the Bible App is squarely in the Facilitator category.

With over 200 million downloads, it received a natural advantage by being early to the new App store in 2008, but it also methodically uses Hooked principles to become a habit-forming product.


  • As a mobile app, Bible App can send notifications where desktop and static videos cannot.
  • Users get regular reminders to read their daily verse and the next piece of their study plan.
  • Eventually, as its users associate the app with relief, emotional discomfort can internally trigger users to return to the app.
  • The app is popularly supported by pastors who can input their sermons and instruct their congregation to load up the app.


  • Ability
    • As a mobile app, it is easily accessible in any location. 
    • Chunking the Bible into small sections lowers the bar for participation.
    • Starting study plans with short verses and short inspirational thoughts are easier to digest.
    • Putting more interesting parts of the Bible up front and saving boring parts for later increase completion rate.
  • Motivation
    • The Bible teaches people to have hope and overcome their fears and pains. 

Variable Reward

  • It’s unclear which verse you’ll receive at any time – thus it’s a delight to see what you get each day.
  • The random verse can sometimes even feel like direct messages from God, when the right message comes at the right time for your problem. Few rewards from apps can really feel this powerful. 
  • Social features allow users to send messages to each other.


  • Committing to a reading plan gives the app a compelling reason to notify the user to return and honor their commitment.
  • Progress recorders tick off a calendar for each day a user successfully reads the verse.
  • Users highlight verses, add comments, and create bookmarks – all investments. The app becomes their repository of life experiences and wisdom.
Hooked Model Examples: The Bible App

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover's "Hooked" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Hooked summary :

  • The 4 key steps that addictive tech products use to ensnare you
  • Why user rewards need to be random and variable to have the strongest effect
  • How to build irresistible apps yoruself

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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