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Cover image for Top Facebook System Design Interview Questions (Part 1) | Facebook Pirate Interview Round

Top Facebook System Design Interview Questions (Part 1) | Facebook Pirate Interview Round

The Interview Sage
Our goal is to create Software Eng Interview tutorials to help you get a job at companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, & Amazon. We will deep-dive into System Design, Coding, & Behavioral interviews.
・Updated on ・4 min read

Hi Everyone, we have spent multiple hours browsing through many websites like Blind, LeetCode, Glassdoor, CareerCup, etc. to find the most frequent Facebook system design interview questions.

Due to the sheer volume of content, we have summarized the top questions with their explanation in a two-part video series so that we can share it with a large audience and everyone can benefit from it πŸ™‚

We hope that this video and the resources in its description box will help you in your journey in preparing and succeeding in the system design interviews at companies like Facebook, Google, etc.

This is my first post on Facebook system design interviews. Link to my second post on this topic:


System Design Interviews at Facebook

  1. This 45-minute round is also known as the Pirate Interview round at Facebook.
  2. In this round, you have to show off your design skills. The system design questions asked are typically more open-ended and rarely require coding. Most time spent discussing and drawing on the whiteboard.
  3. The purpose of the interview is to assess the candidate's ability to solve a non-trivial system design problem. Thus, the interviewer will ask you a broad design problem and evaluate your solution.
  4. Facebook Careers Link: https://www.facebook.com/careers/life/preparing-for-your-software-engineering-interview-at-facebook

Design Facebook News Feed

In the Design Facebook News Feed question, design the following key features and their APIs.

  1. Facebook users should see the news feed containing posts and statuses from their friends and pages that they have followed.
  2. They can post and like statuses that may contain text, images, and videos.
  3. They can send friend requests to other users and follow other pages.

Video Explanation


Design Facebook Status Search

Facebook provides a search bar at the top of its page to enable its users to search posts, statuses, videos, and other forms of content posted by their friends and the pages they follow. In this question,

  1. Develop a service to enable the users to search the statuses posted on Facebook by their friends and followed pages.
  2. Consider that these statuses will only contain text for this particular question.

Video Explanation


Design Live Commenting

This question is not related to Live Videos. This question is related to the active real-time feed of comments at the bottom of each post. Thus, in this question,

  1. Design the backend of a system that can enable real-time commenting on Facebook posts.
  2. The users should be able to see the new comments in real-time for the posts visible in front of their screen.

Video Explanation


Design Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp

Develop the backend of a messenger system that can,

  1. Support 1:1 conversations between two users.
  2. Track the online or offline status of the users.

If time remains, discuss more complex features like Group conversations and Push notifications.

Video Explanation


Design Instagram

Design a simpler version of Instagram.

  1. Users can upload and share photos.
  2. They can follow other users.
  3. Like the photos posted on Instagram.
  4. Instagram users should get a scrollable feed of photos that are posted by the users they follow.

Video Explanation


Preparation Material for the above questions

Learn more about the design goals, scale estimations, high-level design overview, and detailed architecture diagram of these problems inΒ this video.


Cracking the Facebook Behavioral Interview

In case if you have not read our series on Cracking the Facebook Behavioral Interview, we recommend reading it by clicking the below link:


Useful Links

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Buy Me a Coffee

β˜•οΈ Buy us a Coffee at BuyMeACoffee.com/InterviewSage

This article is part of the series on System Design Interviews at Facebook. So, follow us to get notified when our next article in this series is published. Thanks for reading!

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