PurposeAlthough leveraging social media to access healthcare information is nothing new, a boom in short video apps offers new potential for disseminating health-related information. However, it is still unclear how short video apps might facilitate and benefit users’ consumption of health information. Furthermore, the technology features of short video apps complicate attempts to conduct research about them; as a consequence, they have been understudied. For addressing these concerns, this study adopts an affordance perspective to investigate the relationship between affordances and user experience and to examine factors that contribute to users’ intention to continue using short video apps to obtain health information.Design/methodology/approachDrawing upon affordance theory, we constructed a research model that integrates four types of affordances (livestreaming, searching, meta-voicing and recommending), three types of user experience (immersion, social presence and credibility perception), and user’s intention to continue use. We employed an online survey and obtained a sample of 372 valid responses from TikTok (DouYin) users in China. The partial least squares (PLS) method was used to analyze the data.FindingsThe study found that the user experience, in terms of social presence, immersion and credibility perception, can significantly predict users’ intention to continue using short video apps to obtain health information. Furthermore, the user experience was positively associated with the different affordances provided by the short video apps.Originality/valueThe findings of this study have several implications. First, the study contributes to the health information behavior literature by incorporating the aspect of user experience. Moreover, the study extends the application of affordance theory to users’ health information acquisition, and it carries some practical implications on how to leverage the great potential of short video apps to serve public health communication better.