Websites featuring instant-messaging icons use to garner the most traffic from teems. Latest research, however, indicates that sites offering assistance for teens wishing to embellish their social networking profiles has become the number 1 site among teens.

In 2003, the top site for teens was, with teens composing 77.6 percent of its unique audience, Nielsen//Netratings reported on Wednesday. and Badass Buddy also made it into the top 10 sites among teens three years ago, with teens accounting for 73.5 and 66.6 percent of their September Web traffic, respectively. The trend is gradually shifting, the firm said, towards social networking oriented websites.

It is not a surprise that teens are actively engaged in social networking sites like MySpace and YouTube,” said Ken Cassar, chief analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. What is surprising, however, is the extent to which a wide array of supporting Web sites has developed in conjunction with these bigger, more well-known Web destinations. MySpace and YouTube have spawned a vibrant online ecosystem.

In September of this year, sites offering tools to improve social networking profiles with song lyrics, pictures, quotes and layout designs won out with those ages 12-17. ranked No. 1 among teens, who made up 68.4 percent of its unique audience., Nielsen reports.

Additionally, nine out of the top 10 teen sites either offered content or tools for social networking site profiles, or were social networking sites themselves.