Morpeth app pair hoping to put past in picture

Dean Newsome, left, and Shaun Cutler, co-creators of the Clixta app, with, centre, Sunderland City Council deputy leader Hentry Trueman.
Dean Newsome, left, and Shaun Cutler, co-creators of the Clixta app, with, centre, Sunderland City Council deputy leader Hentry Trueman.

Two entrepreneurs are hoping to help put people in the picture after launching a new social media app intended to bring the past to life.

The app, called Clixta, was created by Dean Newsome and Shaun Cutler, both of Morpeth, to allow users to collect treasured old photographs in virtual albums for sharing with groups and individuals around the world.

The user-friendly platform works in similar fashion to other popular social media platforms, but it has been designed to create a space for pictures of the past rather than the present. The app, free to download, is intended to appeal to people of all ages, by helping older generations bond with younger people over their shared pasts.

Dean, 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-operate app allows people to use their mobile phones or tablets to take pictures of old photographs they want to preserve or share.

Images are then uploaded to their profiles, and they can decide whether to make their images publically accessible or just share them with friends.

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The app works on both Apple and Android devices.

Shaun Cutler, previously boss of a 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 them to be easily licensed for commercial use, giving users the option to sell their pictures.

Clixta hired a top national digital design agency to help produce the app to make the overall user experience as simple as possible for technophobes and the older generation.

It is being backed by organisations including Sunderland City Council, the North East Business and Innovation Centre and Sunderland Software City, its home.

City council deputy leader Henry Trueman 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 City, it 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.”