North East Connected

Snap Happy App Opens Window on the Past

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 16.51.36TWO NORTH East entrepreneurs are set to mix it with the social media big boys after launching a brand new app that brings the past to life.

Clixta, the brainchild of Dean Newsome and Shaun Cutler, allows users to collect treasured old photographs in their own virtual ‘shoebox’ and to share them with groups and individuals around the world.

The user-friendly platform has some of the characteristics of other popular social media platforms, but has been specifically designed to create a space for pictures of the past rather than the present. The app – which is free to download – will appeal to audiences of all ages, helping older generations bond with new generations over a shared past.

Dean Newsome, an experienced digital project manager, said: “Photographs are really special, because they offer a window to the past on moments in history that will never be repeated, whether they be personal or landmark events.  We want to open that window by bringing together old images and new technology – we want to breathe new life into old imagery.

“We are really excited about how the app is going to change the way we document our past, and the enthusiasm we have seen from some of the people we have shared the concept with has been phenomenal.”

The easy-to-use app allows people to use their mobile phones or tablets to take a picture of the old photograph they want to keep.  The picture is then uploaded to their profile, and they can decide whether to make the image publically accessible or simply share it with selected friends.  The new app has is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Shaun Cutler, who co-founded the business having previously co-founded and sold a successful security lighting company, said: “Clixta really does tap into what we believe is a real niche.  We have developed functionality that makes Clixta distinct from the other social media platforms on the market, and that has a really clear and compelling proposition – the past.

“The fantastic contrast of the newest technology being used to give the past greater longevity is something that I think makes the company really special and we hope that people get behind it, and – in doing so – keep the past alive.”

Thanks to a partnership with the Government-backed Copyright Hub, Clixta will be one of the first apps in the world to attach a digital ID to every image uploaded, not only protecting them but also allowing the image to be easily licensed for commercial use, giving some users the option to sell their pictures.

Clixta hired a top national digital design agency to help produce the app – meaning the overall user experience has been carefully created and made as simple as possible for technophobes and the older generation – and have been well supported by regional organisations including Sunderland City Council, Sunderland Software City and the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).

Councillor Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said that he was delighted to see Clixta choose the city as its base.

He said: “Clixta promises to be a really successful business, and with both directors of the company travelling from their homes in Northumberland to work from Sunderland Software Centre just goes to prove that this is a fantastic base for businesses in the technology sector.

“Sunderland is home to a great many innovative businesses and we are really proud to have Clixta set up its base here.  We look forward to seeing the business grow and grow.”

To download Clixta, search for the app in the iStore.  For more information about Clixta, visit or follow @officialclixta on Twitter, or to find out more about Sunderland Software Centre, which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013, follow @MAKEitSund, visit, email or call +44 (0) 191 561 1194.

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