391259-facebook-logoThe comparison may be a bit apples’n'oranges, given that YouTube and Facebook fulfil different functions for teenagers. Even so, new research from The Futures Company based on a survey of just over 4k young Americans provides some useful information on changing teen habits.

Its 2013 TRU Youth Monitor report claims that 50% of teens say that YouTube is one of their five favourite websites, ahead of 45.2% who said Facebook. Those sites are followed by Amazon (27.8%), Google (25%), Twitter (19.5%), Yahoo (12.1%), eBay (10.7%) and Tumblr (12.3%).

“Our new findings do suggest some weakness for Facebook, but I need to preface everything we discuss here with the fact that Facebook remains the favourite website overall among our sample of 12- to 29-year-olds,” The Futures Company’s director of youth insights Rob Callender tells Mashable. “That said, Facebook achieves that distinction thanks to twenty-somethings… This heightens the possibility that we may be looking at a changing of the guard.”

Possibly, but the research doesn’t give us a firm answer to the question of what services those teenagers are turning to instead of Facebook. Why? Because it’s focused on websites, and if teens do start to drift away from the world’s biggest social network, it’s as likely to be mobile apps rather than other websites providing their destination.

Facebook’s admission last week that “we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens” in the last quarter spooked investors, but now more data is needed on how those younger teens are spending their mobile lives.