Microsoft is launching a new beta program for Windows Phone 8 that will allow Facebook users to get the latest app version to help test upcoming features. The new Facebook beta app, available in the Windows Phone Store, has undergone a fairly major redesign with some new features including support for high-resolution photos, post sharing, and the Facebook Timeline.

Facebook ditches Metro-style

The new UI moves away from the "Metro style" interface found in the existing Facebook app, and more closely matches the iOS and Android Facebook apps. Sliding to the right will expose the navigation bar and sliding to the left on the main news feed reveals the chat interface. Facebook's Windows Phone update follows a similar move by Twitter recently to align its Windows Phone UI with its iOS and Android apps.

Microsoft says it is looking for "energetic volunteers" to join the program and test the new features, while the existing app will remain in the store alongside the beta one. The Facebook beta includes an option to send feedback in the settings area of the app, where Microsoft will collect bug reports and feature requests. The newly designed Facebook beta app is available immediately in the Windows Phone Store.