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Us The Duo reflect on Vine and its impact on their career

Michael and Carissa Alvarado are the husband-wife team behind Us The Duo.
Michael and Carissa Alvarado are the husband-wife team behind Us The Duo.
Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images

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Six seconds is not a lot of time, but those short Vine videos helped some people become internet celebrities.

Take the husband-wife duo Carissa and Michael Alvarado, for example. Under the name “Us The Duo,” they uploaded Vine videos of themselves performing cover songs. Now the Alvarados are signed to a record label and are currently on a world tour.

While Vine never got as big as other video services like YouTube, it got attention from Twitter, which bought Vine in 2013. But after three years of existence, Twitter announced Thursday that the Vine app will be discontinued.

The Frame's John Horn spoke with the Alvarados about Vine's influence on their music career and what they thought about the news.


On how they reacted to the Vine news

Michael: It was somewhat sentimental for us. Vine has been such a pivotal part of our career, so when we heard it was officially leaving, it made us a little sad. 

On when they realized the app helped them launch their music career

Michael: The point we realized it was bigger than anything we could imagine was when we got asked to perform on "Good Morning America." So Carissa and I were very ordinary people making music on our living room couch, and to get that phone call asking, Hey, do you want to sing live in front of millions of people on national television? That was the "aha" moment where we said, "This could potentially become a career." 

So we did go to the show and it went well. That's when the record label inquires came and some of the other opportunities came after that. That was definitely the moment when we looked at each other and knew something big was happening. 

On their meticulous process of making a Vine video

Carissa: We choose a song and we kind of rehearse it. That takes about 20 minutes to get it down perfectly. Then there's the filming process which is the hardest part. I'm usually the one filming it and I'm holding my left arm out. I feel like my left arm is a lot stronger than my right now because of all of the recording that we've done. 

But just to get the right amount of the song and to start it and stop it at the right time, that was all very important in making the perfect loop for these Vines. So it was a lot of work, and sometimes we didn't end up putting some of them out because we got so frustrated.

Us The Duo: No Matter Where You Are

On their advice to Vine users looking for a new platform

Michael: Vine was an amazing platform for getting us started, as well as some other musicians and comedians. For us, it was a diving board into other opportunities. So we actually recognized about a year and a half ago that Vine was losing followers and it was losing attention from avid listeners to our music. 

We actually migrated immediately to Facebook and started performing longer covers, because we could. On Facebook, now we have over 4 million followers. We're focusing there and trying to grow that audience. 

So, I guess, our suggestion for other people who are on Vine and trying to figure out what to do: branch out and see what other platforms — either on social media or in person — would work for them in their niche. 

Us The Duo is currently on tour in support of their new album, “Just Love.”

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